A damaged generation waits for justice 30 years on
Walesonline's chief reporter Martin Shipton covered the Waterhouse Inquiry into child abuse at North Wales care homes.
North Wales child abuse scandal: the long road to justice
Martin Shipton points out that "when powerful people are involved", the child rapists are unlikely to be named until after they are dead.
Martin Shipton reports:
1. Alison Taylor managed a children's home in North Wales.
She noted that children transferred to her home said that they had been abused at their previous North Wales children's home.
2. Alison told the Waterhouse Inquiry in 1997: "By the autumn of 1985 Gwynedd County Council would not admit to the existence of a problem, the problem of mistreatment of children.
"I reported on an assault.."
Asked what happened Alison said: "Nothing as far as the assault was concerned... The pattern seemed to be that if I made a complaint then something would happen to me – it was like having a sniper behind the wall."
3. Alison told the Inquiry that a girl had complained of being sexually abused by a member of staff.
"She became suicidal at times... the next I heard she had been transferred to a secure unit in a hospital.
"I think she was shifted to keep her quiet. As far as I know, there was no investigation."
4. In 1986, Alison made a statement to police about six children who had "been assaulted."
Alison was told to stay away from work and was then suspended in January 1987.
5. In 1991, Alison compiled a dossier of 75 allegations which she gave to the police.
Many related to the Bryn Estyn care home in Wrexham, which had been run by Clwyd County Council.
A police inquiry was launched in August 1991.
All 46 children's homes in Clwyd were examined.
300 cases were sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Peter Howarth was jailed for 10 years in July 1994 for indecently assaulting seven boys between 1974 and 1984 at Bryn Estyn, where he was deputy head. He died in prison in 1997.
John Allen, head of the Bryn Alyn home, was jailed for six years in February 1995 for six indecent assaults on boys in his care.
6. There were reports that powerful people who did not work in children’s homes had also been involved in the abuse.
There were reports that boys had been taken out of the homes to be abused in hotels.
7. In March 1994 Clwyd County Council commissioned a report on abuse in its homes from three leading experts in child care, including John Jillings, the former social services director for Derbyshire.
The 300-page report has never been officially published. Most copies were pulped.
The report said: "Public figures may have been involved in the abuse of young people in Clwyd."
The report condemned Welsh Office social services inspectors for failing to visit a single children’s home in the 10 years during which most of the abuse took place.
And it said: “At least 12 young people are dead ...We consider that a public judicial inquiry ... should be initiated.”
8. Welsh Secretary William Hague decided to set up of a Tribunal of Inquiry under retired judge Sir Ronald Waterhouse.
It was decided before any evidence was gathered by Waterhouse that the names of alleged abusers would not be published.
One of the victims, Steve Messham, told BBC's Newsnight programme that he was banned from mentioning abuse that took place outside the care system by the Tribunal's terms of reference.
Read more: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-politics/welsh-politics-news/2012/11/11/north-wales-child-abuse-scandal-the-long-road-to-justice-91466-32208017/#ixzz2Bt7WtBJS
The Jillings report.
According to the Independent on Sunday
1. The North Wales chief constable refused to meet the Jilllings panel or help with access to the police major-incident database.
2. 130 boxes of material handed over by the council to the police were not made available to the panel.
3. The council did not allow the inquiry to place a notice in the local press seeking information.
4. Jillings says: "What we found was horrific and on a significant scale."
5. Jillings and his team were so frustrated by attempts at a cover-up that they almost quit.
6. The insurers - Municipal Mutual - suggested that the chair of the council's social services committee, Malcolm King, be sacked if he spoke out.
7. Some staff linked to child rape may have been allowed to resign or retire early.
8. One internal Clwyd council report from the time, unpublished, said: "There could be operating a league or ring of paedophiles...
"There were numerous claims and suggestions that senior public figures including the police and political figures might have been involved in the abuse of young people.''
Savile reportedly visited Bryn Estyn children's home in Wales.
Keith and Tony Gregory were residents in the Bryn Estyn children's home.
Keith, 55, now a town councillor, says his problems began because he suffered deafness and was an undiagnosed dyslexic who struggled to keep up in his infants and junior schools.
On the day he arrived at Bryn Estyn, Keith says he was beaten by a teacher and was left with cane marks from his neck down to his legs.
He said the police were often contemptuously dismissive of boys in care who complained about abuse.
"There were people who were sent there who had lost their parents and they had no choice.
"A lot of them were in a really, really sad state and it was easy prey for them (the paedophiles). If you were vulnerable, young and little, there wasn’t much you could do about it."
Keith has backed fellow former Bryn Estyn resident Steve Messham's claims that children were taken out of Bryn Estyn to be abused in Wrexham’s Crest Hotel.
Keith has said two MPs were involved in the abuse, plus judges and serving police officers.
Channel 4 News reported an eye witness account that former Chester MP Sir Peter Morrison, who died in 1995, visited the home five times.
Sir Peter was former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary.
Earlier at a care home in Liverpool, Keith recalls being electrocuted, stripped naked and having his genitalia fondled by staff.
Read more: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/11/11/north-wales-care-abuse-brothers-detail-their-abuse-nightmare-91466-32208029/#ixzz2BtN1KpOh
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