BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Wales
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Dr Yvette Cloete
"You don't know whether it's a one-off or whether it's the first step to something else"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Gavin Thomas
"The doctor had awoken to find the word 'paedo' daubed on her windows and door"
 real 28k

Welsh Assembly Member Rosemary Butler
"Its appalling an important member of our community is treated in this way"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 30 August, 2000, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Paediatrician attacks 'ignorant' vandals
Front door of doctor's house in Newport
The front door was daubed with yellow paint
A hospital paediatrician has hit out at vandals who forced her to flee her home after apparently taking her job title to mean she was a paedophile.

South African-born Yvette Cloete - a 30-year-old trainee consultant at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, south Wales - said she planned to move home after returning to find the outside of her property daubed with the words "paedo".

She said she can not rule out the possibility that the paint attack was connected with her job at the hospital.

Dr Yvette Cloete
Dr Yvette Cloete: Living with friends
She also praised the friendly neighbourhood where she had lived with her brother Andre, 24, in the village of St Brides, and said she had become a victim of ignorance.

Speaking for the first time since the attack on the rented home she has vowed never to return to, she described the shock of discovering what had happened.

"It is just unbelievable. It is terrible that people think that they have the right to vandalise your property like this no matter what you have done.

"We telephoned the police immediately and began to clean off the words as soon as we could. You think that your home is a place to go to to be safe so it is a shock when something like this happens."

Ms Cloete said the graffiti had been daubed across the front door windows and surrounding woodwork on Monday.


"I'm living with friends at the moment. I won't be returning there again. I think I will look for somewhere more upmarket.

"It looks as though it was just a question of confusing the job title for something else - I suppose I'm really a victim of ignorance," she said.

Rosemary Butler, the Welsh Assembly member for Newport West, described the attack as "appalling".

Ms Butler said that the attack on Dr Cloete's home appeared to be carried out through "sheer hysteria, bravado and ignorance."

She condemned the campaign by the News of the World to name and shame paedophiles in the community.

"We have a code of law and I cannot condone people taking the law into their own hands," said Ms Butler.

Both Gwent Police and Dr Cloete believe the only explanation is the "extraordinary ignorance" of the people who carried out the vandal attack.

It is appalling that a professional woman who cares for children has been forced from her home

Chief Inspector Carl Close

Chief Inspector Carl Close, who is heading the investigation into the attack, said the police currently had no ideas who was responsibe.

But he said he felt that it maybe someone more 'sinister' than children.

"It is appalling that a professional woman who cares for children has been forced from her home," added Chief Inspector Close.

Marie Thorn, a senior administrator at the Royal Gwent Hospital, said Dr Cloete was dealing "very well with the circumstances".

"As a happy coincidence she is moving away from the area - and I don't think this will be anything to make her regret that decision," she said.

"It is really quite staggering that this kind of mistake can happen. Some people are incredibly ignorant."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories