By Patricia Devlin
A FANTASIST who made a false police report claiming former Health Minister Jim Wells made homophobic comments at a public event has claimed she is the child of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.
Dorothy ‘Dee’ Gardener made the astonishing allegation on an internet broadcast show where she also sensationally claimed to have no criminal convictions.
In a series of shocking allegations, which Sunday Life has been unable to stand up, Gardener said the Catholic church was aware that Smyth – who abused hundreds of kids over a 40 year period- was her father.
Speaking on the Conscious Consumer Network (CCN) she said: “I was the only product child of Brendan Smyth. There’s more than me, but I was the only proven one.
“They (Catholic church) tried to pay me off, but I told them to stick the money where the sun doesn’t shine.”
The 49 year-old, who escaped jail over the Jim Wells incident in October, appeared via Skype on the web chat-show style programme in late November.
There she told host Angela Power-Disney that her biological mother had been raped by Smyth.
“I was the product of that, of a rape and I ended up where legally he’s (Smyth) the biological father,” she said.
“So without going to much into it, I was shipped over to a convent, the Good Shepherd in Newry and then I went over to Nazareth House and then I was sent over to the Good Shepherd and then I was sent back over to England.
“The Good Shepherd was closed down in the early 90s because it was my story with Brendan Smyth that went out into the public domain, but I was anonymous at the time, because I was just at the age of 13, under the age of 16 I couldn’t be named to the public.”
However Gardner, who was born in 1968, would have been in her mid twenties at this time, and not under the age of 16.
Gardner, who claims to work as a suicide prevention officer, said her allegations were proven via a DNA test which confirmed sicko Smyth, who died in prison in 1997, was her father.
She then said the matter was reported to police, but no action was taken.
She added: “I have his DNA but I don’t have his mind, I don’t have his body, I don’t have anything that belongs to that sick, evil twisted…”
Smyth was at the centre of one of the first clerical child sex abuse scandals to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland.
The Northern Ireland-born priest was eventually convicted of more than 140 offences against children over a 40-year period and spent time in prison on both sides of the Irish border.
Gardner went on to speak about her alleged activist work in Ireland, which included “exposing corruption”
She then said: “I’m well known in the north of Ireland and the police don’t like it when I speak out.
“I’ve had 16 super injunctions taken out against me by politicians and I got a resignation just recently and that’s how I got into this, and let me clarify this, I have never had a criminal conviction in my life. Never in my life.”
What she failed to mention was how in August she was sentenced to three months behind bars after concocting a false report to police about DUP Minister Jim Wells.
She had claimed in a police statement that she had attended a hustings event in Downpatrick where Mr Wells – who was then the Health Minister – had told the audience he believed treatment to HIV patients should be stopped and that children of gay parents would be abused.
She claimed she was with a group of protestors at the event, wearing tops with the inscription “I’m proud to be gay” on the front and “No politician will tell me who to love” on the back.
She said she had heckled Mr Wells, who later resigned from his post, and in response, the DUP’s Nelson McCausland and Gregory Campbell had laughed at her.
Gardner also claimed to police she had video footage supporting her story.
The court heard that Mr McCausland and Mr Campbell were not at the event and that no video footage was produced by Gardner. Nor did CCTV footage demonstrate any such protest group attended.
Gardner also claimed to be suffering from cancer, but the court was told that no evidence had been provided and she had not attended a probation appointment to discuss a pre-sentence report.
The court was also told that Ms Gardner had claimed to be at the home of a lesbian couple in Rathfriland when Jim Wells came to the door canvassing.
Police investigations revealed that this was also not true and that the couple in question had no knowledge of Ms Gardner.
The court heard that Ms Gardner admitted she had wanted to “get Jim Wells”.
The judge said that fabricating statements attacked the very heart of due process.
The judge said the false statement made by Ms Gardner not only wasted police time but could impact on legitimate complaints from the LGBT community.
She later made a public and personal apology to Mr Wells from the dock before a judge reduced the jail on appeal to community service.
Judge Piers Grant told Gardner at the time there was a “fine line” between fantasy and lies, and warned her that if she breached either the probation order or failed to complete the 100 hours, she would be brought back before him and re-sentenced.
Speaking outside court Mr Wells said he felt “vindicated”following Gardner’s conviction.