EXCLUSIVE: GORDON ANGLESEA — ASSETS UNDER THREAT

November 7, 2016

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POLICE ARE investigating the possible seizure of assets belonging to convicted paedophile police chief Gordon Anglesea.

The retired North Wales Police superintendent was gaoled for 12 years last Friday (November 4).

A spokesman for the National Crime Agency (NCA) told Rebecca this afternoon:

“Financial matters relating to Gordon Anglesea are currently being examined under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”

Rebecca understands this is in connection with the £375,000 damages Anglesea received from his successful 1994 libel action against four media organisations.

HTV (now ITV Wales) and the Observer paid £107,5000 each while Private Eye and the Independent on Sunday handed over £80,000 apiece.

All accused him of abusing children.

During the libel action, Anglesea’s barrister Gareth Williams asked him if he had ever “sexually abused any small boy”.

Anglesea replied: “No, sir.”

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HOMEOWNERS
GORDON AND Sandra Anglesea outside Mold Crown Court during the former North Wales Police chief’s trial. The couple’s former home in Colwyn Bay’s Abbey Road was sold for £395,500 in July 2006 and a detached house purchased for £305,000 in the same month. Ten days ago — just after the jury found the retired superintendent guilty of historic child abuse offences — Sandra Anglesea became the property’s sole owner …
Photo: Trinity Mirror

The NCA move is separate from the attempt by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to recover £150,000 in costs which will be heard in January.

However, inquiries by Rebecca suggest the NCA and the CPS may find it difficult to trace Anglesea’s assets.

He has no financial interest in the family home in Gwynant, Old Colwyn.

The property — bought for £305,000 in July 2006 — is mortgage-free.

Last month the detached house was transferred to his wife Sandra.

The transfer was recorded by the Land Registry in Swansea on October 28.

This was a week after a jury found Anglesea guilty of sexually abusing two boys in the 1980s.

The Land Registry records do not show who owned the house before October 28.

According to the Electoral Register, however, Gordon and Sandra Anglesea have occupied the property since 2006.

There is also speculation that all or part of Anglesea’s valuable police pension may be revoked.

North Wales Police said today this would be a matter for the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales (PCC), Arfon Jones.

We asked the PCC’s for a comment but there was no reply by the time this article went to press.

[The day after this piece was published, Arfon Jones told us:

“I am in discussion with the chief constable about Gordon Anglesea’s pension  and legal advice is being sought.”]

Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Rhos on Sea, where Anglesea has been president three times, said he’s no longer a member.

Club secretary John Roberts said Anglesea gave up his membership 18 months ago.

In 2010, Anglesea was in charge of the club’s “Youth Service”.

Anglesea has also given up his membership of freemasonry.

The United Grand Lodge of England said he’d surrendered his last membership in 2007.

♦♦♦ 

COMING
A FORCE FOR EVIL
HOW DID Gordon Anglesea get away with it for so long? 
The answer is he used the cloak of public office to conceal his crimes and counted on protection from North Wales Police. This article lays bare the conspiracy hatched at the highest levels of the force in the early 1990s to cover up its failure to investigate child abuse — and to protect Anglesea at all costs. In the process, the force helped Anglesea win a famous libel case and made a mockery of the £14 million North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal …

♦♦♦

DONATIONS

Rebecca editor Paddy French was the only journalist who attended every day of Gordon Anglesea’s six week trial. He’s unpaid but there have been expenses of more than £2,000. If you want to make a contribution, just click on the DONATE button.

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CORRECTIONS

Please let us know if there are any mistakes in this article — they’ll be corrected as soon as possible.

RIGHT OF REPLY  
If you have been mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let us have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory we’ll add it to the article.


GORDON ANGLESEA: JUSTICE

November 4, 2016

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THIS AFTERNOON Gordon Anglesea walked into Mold Crown Court a free man.

He will spend tonight in a prison cell in Liverpool.

Judge Geraint Walters sentenced him to twelve years in prison.

He told Anglesea:

“You were beyond reproach.”

His victims were young people who had no one to turn to, he said.

“You do not need me to say that as a person whose obligation it was to uphold the law and protect the vulnerable, your offences against those vulnerable boys grossly abused the trust placed in you.

Two weeks ago a jury found Anglesea guilty of four counts of indecent assault on two boys in the 1980s.

The six men and five women were unanimous in their verdicts.

Anglesea was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The judge said that six counts against another two boys which were on the original indictment would not proceed.

Anglesea will appeal.

A prosecution application that Anglesea pay £150,000 in costs will be considered in January.

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12 YEARS A PRISONER
THE NATIONAL Crime Agency released this photograph of Gordon Anglesea a few minutes ago. The picture was actually taken after his conviction two weeks ago. 

The gaoling of Anglesea also brings his celebrated 1994 libel victory into question.

He successfully sued HTV, the Observer, Private Eye and the Independent on Sunday for publishing material which said he was an abuser.

He received a total of £375,000 in damages.

Rebecca asked ITV Wales, which took over the licence from HTV, if it would try and recover the £107,500 damages the company paid Anglesea.

A spokesman told us:

“We have no comment on Gordon Anglesea’s libel action brought in the early 1990s …”

We asked the Independent if it planned to try and recover the £107,500 it paid Anglesea.

There was no reply.

The Observer — which so far hasn’t even reported the trial — did not reply to our emails.

The four media organisations could also try and recover the legal fees involved in the case.

These ran into several million pounds.

Rebecca asked the Police Federation if lawyers for any of the four had been in touch.

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IAN HISLOP
PRIVATE EYE’S Ian Hislop in 1994 after Gordon Anglesea won a major libel case against the magazine and three other media organisations. Hislop is the only editor still in place but has already said he will not try and recover the £80,000 damages it paid Anglesea. “Private Eye will not be looking to get our money back … others have paid a far higher price.”
Picture: PA.

A spokesman said:

“We are aware of the verdict … and as matters are still ongoing we are not able to comment further at this time.”

The National Crime Agency said its investigation of Anglesea is complete.

The Rebecca investigation continues …

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ANGLESEA’S ROAD to prison has been a long one. 

He was first named as a potential child abuser in 1991.

In the 25 years since then, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have considered files in relation to 11 alleged victims.

Ten were boys under the age of 16 and one was an adult woman.

It was not until the Jimmy Savile affair that the CPS began to take allegations against Anglesea seriously.

Up to that point the CPS had considered four files concerning Anglesea and decided there was “insufficient evidence” to press charges.

When Operation Pallial submitted seven files, the CPS was more sympathetic.

In 2015 it ruled that Anglesea could be charged in relation to four of them.

But before Anglesea’s six week trial at Mold Crown Court, it decided not to proceed with two of them.

These cases — which involved six counts of sexual assault — were considered by Judge Geraint Walters today.

He said they would not proceed.

The jury unanimously found Anglesea guilty of abusing the remaining two men.

He was found not guilty of one charge of rape.

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REBECCA HAS been researching the case of Gordon Anglesea — and the North Wales child abuse scandal — for nearly two decades.

We have prepared a timeline of the key events in the battle to bring the retired superintendent to book.

1992

Mark Humphreys, a former resident of the local-authority controlled Bryn Estyn childrens’ home, makes the first allegation against Gordon Anglesea.

Known as “Sammy,” he was resident at Bryn Estyn in 1980 and 1981.

He claimed to have been sexually assaulted twice by Anglesea in this period while he was sleeping at the home.

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£15,000
THE REBECCA investigation of Gordon Anglesea and the North Wales child abuse scandal started 19 years ago and has so far cost more than £15,000 — including legal fees of £6,000. The investigation is ongoing.
Rebecca is independent, takes no advertising, allows no sponsorship.
She relies on readers who support fearless investigative journalism.
There’s a donation button at the end of this article.

On the first occasion, his genitals were touched: on the second he was raped.

He also claimed he’d been abused by Bryn Estyn deputy head Peter Howarth.

1992

Stephen Messham was the second former Bryn Estyn resident to make allegations against Anglesea.

He was at Bryn Estyn from 1977 to 1979.

He claimed to have been forced to have oral and anal sex by Anglesea on several occasions.

He, too, claimed to have been abused by Peter Howarth — and also by Stephen Norris, a house master at Bryn Estyn.

1992

The third complainant, who can’t be named for legal reasons, came forward after the HTV programme Wales This Week accused Anglesea of abusing Humphreys and Messham.

He said he was indecently assaulted on only one occasion.

He’d been caddying for Peter Howarth on a golf course when Gordon Anglesea turned up.

The two men then took him to Howarth’s flat at Bryn Estyn where they took down his trousers and underpants and touched his genitals.

No oral or anal sex took place.

1994

North Wales Police investigated all three cases and submitted reports to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The CPS decided there was “insufficient evidence” to bring charges.

All three complainants gave evidence in the libel action Gordon Anglesea brought against HTV, the Observer, Private Eye and the Independent on Sunday.

The jury found for Anglesea by a majority of 10-2.

Mark Humphreys was devastated the jury didn’t believe him.

He was found dead in his Wrexham bedsit a few months later.

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ANGLESEA’S VICTORY in the libel action did not end concern about child abuse in North Wales.

In June 1996 Welsh Secretary William Hague announced the setting up of Britain’s first child abuse Tribunal, chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Ronald Waterhouse.

It’s known as the Waterhouse Tribunal.

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PRISONER JONES
DURING THE trial of Gordon Anglesea, Judge Geraint Walters adjourned the case to deal with former Anglesey housing chief John Arthur Jones. Judge Walters sentenced him to 18 months in prison for shining lights into the cockpits of RAF training flights at Mona Airfield near Llangefni. The property developer believed the flights were interfering with his plans to sell chalets on a site he owned nearby. Jones was part of a gang of officials and councillors — including former council leader Gareth Winston Roberts — who considered themselves above the law. Even when Jones was arrested in the late 1990s — on suspicion of using men on housing benefit to build his new house — he was unfazed. He went on holiday with a North Wales Police detective inspector — and was planning to give a lucrative contract to the island’s former police chief … 
Photo: North Wales Police

1996

The fourth allegation of sexual assault against Anglesea was made five months after the Waterhouse Tribunal was set up.

(This was first revealed in a Rebecca article — Exclusive: Gordon Anglesea: New Revelations — published on the day Anglesea was convicted. It was sub judice up to that point.)

A “female acquaintance of the family” alleged that she’d been indecently assaulted.

A police investigation led to a report going to the CPS which decided there was “insufficient evidence” to bring charges.

This was despite Anglesea initially lying about the incident when first questioned under caution.

He later admitted the lie.

North Wales Police refused to hand over the file on this case to the Waterhouse Tribunal.

2000

The North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal published its report Lost In Care.

The Tribunal expressed “considerable disquiet” about some of Anglesea’s evidence.

But it concluded it “was unable to find that the allegations of sexual abuse made against Gordon Anglesea have been proved to our satisfaction …”

2010

Rebecca publishes the article The Trials of Gordon Anglesea which, for the first time, brings together the substantial discrepancies between Anglesea’s evidence in the libel case and his testimony before the Waterhouse Tribunal.

The article — which was mentioned in Anglesea’s trial — spelt out the “staircase” of admissions he made about his visits to Bryn Estyn.

When first interviewed by police in 1992 he said he’d been there four times.

By the time he gave evidence at the libel action in 1994, the figure had risen to nine.

Investigations by the Waterhouse Tribunal revealed the actual number was at least 15.

Anglesea also insisted he didn’t know Peter Howarth, the deputy head of Bryn Estyn, who was later convicted of abusing boys at the home.

Howarth died in prison.

PETER HOWARTH : 1992

PETER HOWARTH
GORDON ANGLESEA protested he did not know Peter Howarth, the deputy principal of Bryn Estyn, in the early 1980s. Howarth was later gaoled for abusing boys at the home — he died in prison. Many witnesses, including staff members and police officers, say they saw Anglesea and Howarth together …
Photo: Press Association

The Tribunal heard from “seven other witnesses, including four members of staff who spoke of seeing Anglesea at Bryn Estyn, and most of them spoke of seeing him there in the presence of Howarth.”

Rebecca also revealed the evidence of Ian Kelman, who had been a uniform inspector in the 1970s and 1980s.

Kelman said he saw Anglesea with Howarth at Bryn Estyn …

2012

Stephen Messham, on the BBC Newsnight programme, accused Lord McAlpine of abusing him.

The government ordered two new inquiries.

The first was a judicial review of the work of the Waterhouse Tribunal to be headed by Lady Justice Macur.

The second was a new police investigation — Operation Pallial, later taken over by the newly-formed National Crime Agency.

In a debate in the Commons, then Home Secretary Theresa May promised Labour MP Paul Flynn police would examine material published by Rebecca.

This concerned serious allegations dating back to 1980 which the Waterhouse Tribunal had ignored.

A few days later Stephen Messham said his identification of McAlpine had been been a case of mistaken identity.

2013 

Gordon Anglesea is arrested at his home in Old Colwyn in December.

He’s charged with abusing seven boys back in the 1970s and 1980s.

The National Crime Agency, in accordance with normal police practice, did not name him.

A month later Rebecca names Anglesea after his local Rotary Club confirm he’d been granted leave of absence.

2015

In July Anglesea is charged with abusing three boys between 1979 and 1987.

In November he’s charged in relation to another boy between 1982 and 1983.

The CPS decide not to charge him in relation to allegations made by three others.

2016

The Macur Review, published in March, gives the Waterhouse Tribunal a clean bill of health.

But buried deep in the report — and spotted only by Rebecca — is the revelation that the Tribunal was not told the whole truth about an alleged indecent assault involving Anglesea in 1996.

North Wales Police refused to hand over the file even though it contained the explosive fact that Anglesea had lied to police under caution about the incident.

On September 5 Anglesea went on trial charged with abusing two boys in the 1980s.

On October 21 he was convicted by the jury of six men and five women.

Today he starts his 12 year prison sentence — it will be many years before he’s eligible for parole.

♦♦♦

WHEN GORDON Anglesea was convicted North Wales Police were quick to make a statement.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki said:

“It is true to say that no occupation is immune from individuals who will exploit their position of authority and trust to abuse vulnerable victims, but people expect and deserve better from the police.”

He continued:

“I am saddened that a former officer was one of those individuals and I would like to apologise on behalf of the force to those who lives he so traumatically affected.”

What he did not apologise for was his force’s deliberate shielding of Gordon Anglesea for a quarter of a century.

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LADY JUSTICE MACUR
THE JUDGE headed a £3 million review of the Waterhouse Tribunal. She examined the evidence the inquiry heard about the Gwynfa psychiatric clinic based in Colwyn Bay. A Clwyd Health Authority official, Irene Train, told the Tribunal police had briefed her that complaints by Gwynfa residents did not involve sexual abuse. This was untrue — in 1992 police told the Health Authority there were “further allegations of buggery” against a member of staff. A senior Welsh Office official was convinced Health Authority chief executive Laurie Wood was deliberately misleading him. A barrister, asked to review the case, said the situation was “sufficiently grave to justify independent inquiry”. His advice was sent to the Tribunal but chairman Sir Ronald Waterhouse took no action. Lady Justice Macur recommended police consider an investigation into “malfeasance in public office and/ or perverting the course of justice.” This is now being carried out by the National Crime Agency.

Rebecca is currently preparing a damning indictment of the way the force operated in this period.

It will say that, in the late 1970s and 1980s, the force was presented with several golden opportunities to expose child abuse in the Wrexham area.

It failed to do so.

Police failed to investigate allegations that paedophiles were operating at two children’ homes — the local authority-run  Bryn Estyn and the private-operated Bryn Alyn complex — and that there were links from both to a paedophile ring operating in Wrexham.

The childrens’ homes were both in the Bromfield section of the Wrexham police area.

The senior officer in charge of Bromfield for most of this period was Gordon Anglesea, then holding the rank of Inspector.

The failure to get to grips with the sexual abuse of young boys in the 1970s and 1980s meant that it continued without hindrance for another decade.

Public unease finally led to Operation Antelope, a massive investigation by North Wales Police into sexual abuse across its entire territory, which began in 1991.

Rebecca will present evidence that senior officers in North Wales Police decided the earlier failures of the 1970s and 1980s would be quietly swept under the carpet.

The position was complicated when Gordon Anglesea was named as a potential child abuser himself.

Rebecca will argue the force also decided that he should be shielded as much as possible, in order to protect the reputation of the force.

The evidence suggests the investigation of Anglesea by Operation Antelope was inadequate.

Detectives only presented only three files to the Crown Prosecution Service t  — and these three alleged victims had been found by the media.

These were the complainants — including Mark Humphreys and Stephen Messham — who gave evidence in the libel action.

It seems incredible, given what is now known, that this is all that Operation Antelope could come up with.

This failure to find any new victims, of course, helped Anglesea win the 1994 libel action.

♦♦♦

BUT ANGLESEA’S victory in 1994 didn’t arrest the rising tide of public concern.

The result was the Waterhouse Tribunal, established in 1996.

North Wales Police responded with another conspiracy.

It suppressed evidence of its earlier failures to investigate child abuse properly.

And it once again shielded Anglesea.

One example: the decision not to hand over the file into the 1996 investigation into a woman’s complaint that Anglesea had indecently assaulted her.

ROYAL Investitures

MARK POLIN
THE CURRENT Chief Constable of North Wales Police refuses to answer Rebecca questions about the role of the force in preventing the Waterhouse Tribunal from doing its job properly. In 1997 the HTV current affairs programme Wales This Week discovered that serious allegations of child abuse at the Bryn Alyn childrens’ home had been made as early as 1980 or 1981. This should have been investigated by the Tribunal — but North Wales Police hijacked the issue and quietly buried it. It was never even mentioned in the Tribunal report …
Photo: PA

This meant that the Tribunal did not know Anglesea had lied about the incident when questioned under caution.

The Tribunal — dominated by freemasons — was slow-witted and over-sympathetic to the police.

The Tribunal concluded;

“there was no significant omission by the North Wales Police in investigating the complaints of abuse to children.”

The Macur Review, which David Cameron set up in 2012 to see if the Waterhouse Tribunal had been fit for purpose, published its report in March of this year.

Just as the Waterhouse Tribunal gave the police a clean bill of health, so Lady Justice Macur whitewashed the Tribunal.

She saw “ … no reason to undermine the conclusions of the Tribunal in respect of the nature and scale of the abuse.”

Rebecca has already condemned the Macur Review — see the articles Bloody Whitewash and The £3m Whitewash.

 

♦♦♦
Published: 4 November 2016
© Rebecca
♦♦♦ 
  

COMING
A FORCE FOR EVIL
HOW DID Gordon Anglesea get away with it for so long? 
The answer is he used the cloak of public office to conceal his crimes and counted on protection from North Wales Police. This article lays bare the conspiracy hatched at the highest levels of the force in the 1990s to cover up its failure to investigate child abuse — and to protect Anglesea at all costs. In the process, the force helped Anglesea win a famous libel case and made a mockery of the £14 million North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal …

♦♦♦

DONATIONS

Rebecca editor Paddy French was the only journalist who attended every day of the Anglesea trial. He’s unpaid but there have been expenses of more than £2,000. If you want to make a contribution, just click on the DONATE button.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

CORRECTIONS

Please let us know if there are any mistakes in this article — they’ll be corrected as soon as possible.

RIGHT OF REPLY  
If you have been mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let us have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory we’ll add it to the article.


THE FALL OF GORDON ANGLESEA

October 23, 2016

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TWENTY FIVE years after he was first named as a sexual predator Gordon Anglesea has been brought to book.

On Friday a jury of five women and six men branded the retired police superintendent a child abuser.

They did what North Wales Police, the judiciary — and £20 million of public money had failed to do.

They unanimously convicted him of four counts of indecent assault against two boys in the 1980s.

Anglesea is remanded on bail until November 4.

[He was later gaoled for 12 years — see Gordon Anglesea: Justice.]

Judge Geraint Walters told him “there can only be one sentence and that will be a prison sentence”.

The six-week trial was a raw, bad-tempered affair.

The jury were unhappy because they were in court for less than a third of the time.

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MINUTES AFTER Friday’s verdict Rebecca revealed the existence of a new allegation against Anglesea — in 1996 he was accused of indecently assaulting a woman. Even though he lied to the police when first questioned about the incident, he was not prosecuted. Police are also investigating an alleged cover-up. One of the offences Anglesea was convicted of was first reported back in 2002 but senior officers turned a blind eye. Read more here.
The Rebecca investigation of Gordon Anglesea started 19 years ago and has cost more than £15,000 so far. The legal bill for fireproofing the resulting articles — especially The Trials Of Gordon Anglesea — came to £6,000.
The next major piece — A Force For Evil — reveals how Anglesea was protected by the North Wales Police and escaped censure in both the 1996-1997 North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal and the more recent Macur Review. 
Rebecca is independent, takes no advertising, allows no sponsorship. She relies on readers who support fearless investigative journalism … 

Barristers for the prosecution and defence sniped at one another throughout.

At one point the judge warned the trial was in danger of becoming a “pantomime”.

What follows is a long, detailed account of one of the most important court cases in recent Welsh criminal history.

It is unsparing and some readers may find it harrowing …

♦♦♦ 

WHEN 79-year old Gordon Anglesea walked into Court No 1 at the Law Centre in Mold on September 5, the press benches were packed.

Reporters from Channel 4, ITV and BBC watched as the retired policeman was searched by a security guard and took his seat in the dock.

The dock is surrounded by thick plate-glass.

Also present were journalists from the Press Association, representing the national press, Private Eye, the local Daily Post — and Rebecca.

The trial emerged out of the new investigation into historic child abuse in North Wales ordered by David Cameron in 2012.

The Prime Minister’s decision followed the claim by former care home resident Stephen Messham that he’d been abused by the senior Tory politician Lord McAlpine.

The allegation was made on the BBC Newsnight programme but later shown to be based on mistaken identity.

By then the new police investigation — Operation Pallial — was already underway.

Stephen Messham was one of three men who accused Gordon Anglesea of abusing them as children.

THERESA MAY

THERESA MAY
THE PRIME MINISTER was Home Secretary when she announced a police inquiry into historic child abuse in North Wales in November 2012. When Labour MP Paul Flynn asked her to examine material from Rebecca, she told him police “will, indeed, be looking at that historical evidence. That is part of the job they will be doing.” 
Photo: PA

When Private Eye, HTV, the Observer and the Independent on Sunday reported some of these allegations in 1991 and 1992, Anglesea issued writs.

The trial in 1994 is one of the most celebrated cases in British libel history.

The jury found for Anglesea by 10-2.

In the settlement that followed, he received £375,000 in damages.

Now — 22 years later — Gordon Anglesea was back in court.

This time not as a plaintiff in a civil case but in the criminal dock as the defendant.

The original indictment accused the retired superintendent of 10 counts of abusing four boys.

The prosecution decided not to proceed with six incidents involving two alleged victims.

This meant Anglesea faced four charges.

He was accused of two counts of indecent assault and one of buggery against a boy of 14 between September 1981 and September 1982.

He also faced a single charge of indecent assault against a second boy of 14 or 15  in 1986 or 1987.

Several days of legal argument and a short adjournment meant that Eleanor Laws, QC did not start to present the prosecution case against Anglesea until Wednesday, September 14.

She told the jury she would present the evidence of the two complainants.

In addition, she would call a series of witnesses who would give evidence in support of their testimony.

♦♦♦

Complainant One is a troubled man of 48.

He cannot be named for legal reasons.

The jury watched him give his evidence in chief in a series of recorded DVDs.

He then took the stand, waiving his right to do so behind screens.

He told the court he was an alcoholic who also took drugs and had a history of serious mental illness.

He had a long criminal record — mainly burglaries — but told the court he’d not been in trouble for many years.

He did not come forward until he told a counsellor about the abuse in 2015.

The jury heard that in 1982 he was ordered to spend 18 hours at the Wrexham Attendance Centre .

He was 14 at the time

The centre was part of a nationwide Home Office initiative in the late 1970s, designed as an alternative to youth custody.

The boys’ detention took place on alternate Saturday afternoons at St Joseph’s School in Wrexham.

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WREXHAM ATTENDANCE CENTRE
FOR NEARLY eight years the centre was based at St Joseph’s School in Wrexham. Magistrates ordered boys to spent several hours detention every other Saturday in a military-style setting.

It was scheduled to coincide with the home games of the Wrexham football team.

The centre ran from 1978 to 1986.

For most of that time it was run by Gordon Anglesea, then a North Wales Police inspector, assisted by several other police officers.

Complainant One said the routine was gym and a race in a field followed by showers and a woodwork lesson.

He was a good runner and easily won the races in the initial series of sessions.

He said Anglesea then ordered him to start later to give the other boys a chance.

As a result he came last and showered alone.

On three of these occasions Anglesea sexually abused him.

The first time he was naked after his shower when Anglesea brushed his arm against his genitals.

Anglesea was “saying some nice things”.

Looking back, he believes the police inspector was testing him to see if he would protest.

He didn’t.

The second time, Anglesea told him to kneel over a bench while still naked — and then penetrated his anus with his finger.

Anglesea was charged with indecent assault for these two alleged offences.

On the third occasion the complainant said he was forced over the bench again — and Anglesea penetrated him either with his finger or his penis

Anglesea was charged with buggery or the alternate count of indecent assault.

The complainant blamed the abuse by Gordon Anglesea for most of his problems:

“He’s wrecked my life. He has, he’s wrecked my life. I’m an … alcoholic.”

“I’ve been in prison all me life and everything just because I hate police and everybody because of him.”

Several times he dramatically pointed to Gordon Anglesea — and insisted he was the man who abused him.

Tania Griffiths QC, defending Anglesea, put it to him he’d made a mistake about Anglesea’s distinctive strawberry birthmark.

He’d described it as being on the wrong side of his face.

The complainant replied that it was a long time ago but he was certain Anglesea abused him.

Griffiths also put it to him that the benches in the changing room were too small for him to be abused on one.

He said that’s where the abuse took place.

Griffiths also put it to him that he’d heard about Anglesea from other people and on social media.

He denied it.

She asked:

“You’re a liar, aren’t you?”

He replied:

“Believe what you want to believe.”

Complainant One said he wanted Anglesea to get his “upandcommance.”

“He’s wrecked people’s lives and he needs to pay for it”.

♦♦♦

THE PROSECUTION called several witnesses in support of Complainant One’s story.

Paul Godfrey was one of the most important.

Not only did he give evidence about the attendance centre, he would also claim to have seen Anglesea in a hotel room with a homosexual market trader and an underage boy.

Godfrey was 15 when he was ordered to spend 24 hours at the attendance centre in 1980.

He’d been convicted of burglary and theft.

He said that when the boys were showering after gym Anglesea would stand at the entrance “ogling” them.

Godfrey said Anglesea did not touch him.

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“UPANDCOMMANCE”
ONE OF the complainants against Gordon Anglesea said his life has been ruined by the abuse — he wanted the man who assaulted him to get his “upandcommance”. 
Photo: Trinity Mirror

Anglesea’s barrister put it to him that allegations about the showers, “became part of the local folk-lore, didn’t it?

Godfrey was emphatic: he’d seen Anglesea watching the boys showering.

Two other witnesses can’t be named for legal reasons.

Witness “Alpha” gave his evidence behind screens.

He spent 24 hours at the attendance centre in 1986 when he was 16.

He’d been convicted of theft and assault.

He said Anglesea was always present when the boys were showering — looking at their bodies.

Defence QC Tania Griifiths said he’d made this up:

“It’s absolute nonsense, isn’t it?”

“Alpha” said it was the truth.

Griffiths put it to him he wanted revenge on the former policeman for family reasons.

He denied this.

Another man — who also can’t be named for legal reasons — gave evidence.

Witness “Bravo” spent 18 hours at the attendance centre in 1983 after a conviction for assault.

He said Anglesea was always present in the showers.

But he went further.

He said that on one occasion Anglesea ordered some boys to do sit-ups and squat thrusts while naked after the showers.

“Bravo” said on one of these occasions he was ordered to lie on his back and open and close his legs while Anglesea watched.

“Bravo” was asked:

“Have you come to court to tell lies?”

“No,” he replied.

The next witness to give evidence came forward during the trial.

Jason Ellis had seen reports about the attendance centre in the local paper, the Wrexham Leader.

He told the court he served 24 hours at the attendance centre in 1982 for offences including burglary.

He said he remembered reading reports of the libel action in 1994 of allegations that Anglesea watched boys in the showers.

At the time Ellis told his wife:

“that’s exactly what happened when I was there.”

Tania Griffiths suggested Jason Ellis was simply repeating allegations which had been made on the internet.

He said he remembered only what he’d seen.

Christina Ellis gave evidence confirming her husband’s testimony — it stuck in her memory because it was the first time he’d ever mentioned the attendance centre.

One of the police officers who assisted Anglesea in running the attendance centre was Graham Butlin.

Butlin was too ill to give evidence but his son Michael, a serving North Wales Police officer, made a statement.

Michael Butlin said he’d been to the centre with his father.

The prosecution called him to give evidence about this.

When he arrived at court, however, PC Butlin said he wanted to change his statement — and removed the section which supported the prosecution.

He was not called.

The jury never heard what he had to say about the centre …

♦♦♦

THE ALLEGATION of sexual abuse made by the second complainant was different to those made by Complainant One.

Complainant One said his abuse took place when he was alone with Anglesea.

Complainant Two claimed Anglesea abused him when others were present.

He said he became the plaything of a paedophile ring and was handed around like “a handbag”.

Aged 44, he’s currently serving a four-year sentence and was brought to court from gaol.

He gave his evidence behind screens — only the judge, jury and the barristers could see him.

He was often volatile and at one point said he wanted to stop giving evidence:

“I feel I’m going to explode”.

The judge persuaded him to carry on.

Many of his problems, he believed, came from the abuse he’d suffered.

It was only through counselling that he had begun to understand the significance of what had happened to him.

In 1986 he was sent to the private Bryn Alyn children’s home where he was indecently assaulted by the owner, John Allen.

In 1994 Allen was sentenced to six years for abusing six boys in his care.

The complainant was not one of them — and he did not report his alleged abuse to the police who were investigating Allen.

He told the court he was bullied by the other boys.

When he went to John Allen to ask him to stop it, Allen abused him:

“ … he was saying I’m a special person … they have, special people have relationships, men and boys, and they keep it a secret.”

003_ALLEN

PIED PIPER
JOHN ALLEN was paid £30 million by local authorities to look after problem children between 1974 and 1991. He built an empire of private children’s homes in North Wales but was selecting vulnerable boys for abuse. He’s currently serving a life sentence — in all he was convicted of abusing 25 children in his care.

“… I accepted it. I’ve done things that’s haunted me all my life, all my life, and I can’t let go of it, eats me away in here [points to his chest].”

It wasn’t until 2001 that North Wales Police came to see him as part of a second investigation into John Allen.

Detectives told him another former resident claimed the complainant had seen John Allen abusing him.

Complainant Two said this wasn’t true.

But he told detectives Allen had indecently assaulted him.

He also said that Allen allowed other men to sexually abuse him — but did not identify them.

In 2002 officers from North Wales Police interviewed him again.

This time he handed them a piece of paper with details of three of his alleged abusers.

The jury were shown a copy of this document.

There were three names on it: “Peter”,  “Norris” and “Gordon”.

“Peter” is Peter Howarth, the former deputy head of the local authority-run Bryn Estyn home.

He died of a heart attack in 1997 while serving a ten year sentence for the sexual abuse of boys at Bryn Estyn.

“Norris” is Stephen Norris, a former housemaster at Bryn Estyn.

He served two prison sentences after admitting abusing boys in his care.

In 1990 he was given three and a half years, in 1993 it was seven.

“Gordon”, according to a note on the piece of paper the complainant handed to police, is described as:

“5’9”, mid build, mousey brown well kept, prim and proper dressed, birthmark on face, had blue a piercing stare, said I was dirty and he could have me in jail if I told lies, big glasses.”

Complainant Two said he hoped detectives would “latch on” to the significance of his description and “put two and two together”.

He said they didn’t.

nwpolicehq_001

“GORDON”
NORTH WALES POLICE are investigating the 2002 failure to follow up the allegation that Gordon Anglesea was an abuser. A spokeswoman said: “we can confirm that … Professional Standards Department have received a complaint as a result of Operation Pallial that is being investigated.”

The complainant explained how the alleged abuse by Gordon Anglesea happened.

He said John Allen used to take him to various houses where he would be expected to carry out cleaning duties.

Often there would be other men there who, after he’d finished his tasks, would abuse him.

He said that on one occasion he was taken to what he described as a “sandstone house” in Mold — with a long driveway and no gate.

“One fella there, I can’t remember his name, he was a nasty horrible piece of work, he had like a birth mark on his face and he had glasses, he’s something to do with the police.”

“He grabbed me by the hair, I didn’t like him, and he wanted me to, er, perform oral sex on him and I didn’t want to. “

“And he grabbed hold of me, you know, he choked me with his penis, basically, he was really rough, it was horrible.”

“And he was threatening me, he was saying, I’d never see my parents again, he would send me away, he had the power to send me away, far, far away, and I’d never see my family again.”

He said this was the only time Anglesea abused him — on other occasions he was standing in the shadows, watching the abuse.

It wasn’t until Operation Pallial was launched that the complainant fully named Anglesea as one of his abusers.

The complainant told the court that he hadn’t named him earlier because he was afraid.

During his evidence he made a new allegation, not involving Anglesea.

This concerned a session where a dog belonging to John Allen bit his penis.

He’d been ashamed to mentioned it earlier because it concerned bestiality.

Tania Griffiths QC, for Anglesea, told the complainant:

“You’re making it all up.”

He said it was true.

He denied inventing the account of Anglesea abusing him because he was hoping it would improve his chances of parole.

She put it to him that the “sandstone house” couldn’t be found — because it didn’t exist.

It did, he said.

She also accused him of coming up with the story for compensation.

“I don’t want compensation,” he insisted, “I want justice”.

She also asked him why he hadn’t recognised Anglesea when he abused him: after all, he’d seen him a few weeks earlier at Wrexham Police Station.

The complainant said he simply didn’t realise they were the same man.

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WREXHAM POLICE STATION
THROUGHOUT THE late 1970s and much of the 1980s Gordon Anglesea was based at this tower block in Wrexham, since demolished. He was a well-known policeman in the town and many boys knew him from the Wrexham Attendance Centre. His nickname was “Wacman”.

Tania Griffiths also challenged him about the dog he claimed had bitten him.

He insisted it was true — and would allow a doctor to medically examine him.

(Later in the trial, this examination took place.

A doctor told the court that the scarring referred to was, in fact, a natural feature of the underside of his penis.

He agreed that any injury could have healed without leaving any permanent scar)

The complainant admitted to a long criminal record.

“I’m a bad man,” he said.

He became a burglar to make money.

“But before that, you know, in my early years I used to go and burgle houses, not take nothing, just smash the houses up, just so that person could hate me as much as I hated myself.”

♦♦♦

THE PROSECUTION were painting a picture of Gordon Anglesea as a police officer who took a close interest in young boys.

He ran the attendance centre for many years and his patch included the Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn children’s homes.

He began the unusual practice of cautioning boys at both homes when it was normally done at the police station.

There was also evidence that he knew homosexuals and known or suspected paedophiles.

One of these was a market trader called Arthur who often rented a room at the Crest Hotel — now the Wynnstay Arms.

Arthur’s full name was not given in the trial.

From other sources, Rebecca has identified him as Arthur Connell.

A known homosexual, he has a conviction for indecency.

Paul Godfrey — who had given evidence about the Wrexham Attendance Centre — said he was a regular visitor to Connell’s room at the Crest Hotel in the late 1970s.

In his early teens he skived off school to work on Connell’s stall at Wrexham’s Monday market.

Another boy who helped was Mark Humphreys, known as Sammy.

Sammy was also a frequent visitor to the hotel room.

(The jury were not told that Mark Humphreys was one of the first to allege abuse at the hands of Gordon Anglesea.

He gave evidence at the libel trial in 1994 but the jury didn’t believe him.

He was found dead in his Wrexham bedsit in 1995.)

Paul Godfrey said that while they were in the hotel room, Connell would take a shower and parade around naked before getting into bed.

He would invite the boys to have showers as well — and then give them money to have their photos taken.

Godfrey was suspicious of him.

He wanted the money but would only be photographed covered by a towel.

But Sammy, he told the court, would often get into bed with Arthur.

He said there was talk — “rife, really rife” — that Sammy was involved sexually with Arthur.

One day there was a knock on the door.

It was Gordon Anglesea.

Godfrey said Anglesea wasn’t happy he was there — he told Connell to get rid of him.

Godfrey later reported the incident to a detective called Gwyn Harris.

He says Harris — now dead — didn’t believe him.

♦♦♦

THE EVENTS of  1982 became one of the key battlegrounds of the trial.

The prosecution case was that Gordon Anglesea got to hear of Godfrey’s talk with Gwyn Harris — and tried to coerce him into silence.

The defence argued there was no evidence to back this up.

Godfrey told the court that his relations with the police were troubled even before the incident at the Crest Hotel.

He said that on one occasion he was beaten up by a police officer called Paul Glantz.

Godfrey was then charged with being drunk and disorderly.

SAVILE

CLIMATE CHANGE
THE SHADOW of Jimmy Savile — who used celebrity to mask widespread abuse of children — hung over the Anglesea trial. Anglesea’s barrister warned the jury not to be swayed by emotion …
Photo: PA

When he was in court for this offence, Godfrey produced a ripped and bloody shirt and claimed Glantz had assaulted him.

The case was dismissed — and the police officer charged with false imprisonment.

Glantz was tried at Chester Crown Court but acquitted.

Godfrey said that things got worse when he told Gwyn Harris about Anglesea’s visit to Arthur Connell’s hotel room.

He was in the Crest sometime later when, out of the blue, Gordon Anglesea suddenly appeared.

Anglesea said:

“You’ve been to the police station, you’ve made allegations against me.”

Anglesea warned him he was asking for a “hard time”.

In November 1982 Godfrey was accused of stealing Wrigleys chewing gum from a newsagents in Wrexham.

He was kept in the cells overnight.

He was angry that he was held for the alleged theft of what he said was just £2.90 worth of gum — and believed Anglesea was behind the decision.

He claimed Anglesea came to his cell and said:

“I told you. You better keep your mouth shut about what’s going on.”

The prosecution drew attention to an entry in Anglesea’s 1982 pocketbook which made it clear he knew Paul Godfrey.

This entry — made the month before the incident with the chewing gum — concerned a file on Paul Godfrey which had gone missing.

Anglesea wrote in his pocketbook that he spoke to Paul Glantz about this and “told him I was looking for the file”.

He added that the file was wanted “urgently” because there was a “complaint against police.”

The prosecution did not say it, but the implication was that there might have been a record in the file about Godfrey reporting Anglesea’s alleged visit to the Crest Hotel.

The defence said there was a perfectly innocent explanation for Anglesea wanting the file —  Godfrey had made a complaint against Paul Glantz.

Tania Griffiths, defending Gordon Anglesea, added that the file had apparently turned up a few days later.

Griffiths put it to Godfrey there was a perfectly good reason to remand him over the chewing gum incident — there were other outstanding offences.

Godfrey was adamant he’d been victimised.

Griffiths also took him to the statement he’d made to police investigating child abuse in the 1990s.

She said he’d stated:

“I’ve no complaints to make about this period of my life.”

Godfrey said he didn’t trust the North Wales Police.

The prosecution also introduced a statement taken from the deputy manager of the Crest Hotel in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Christopher Appleton said young boys between the ages of 10 and 16 would go up to Arthur’s room.

He assumed they were helping on the market stall.

One of these, a boy of 12 or 13, became a “bit of a pest” by turning up on Sundays asking for Arthur.

It was implied — but not stated — that this was Mark “Sammy” Humphreys …

♦♦♦

THE PROSECUTION also brought evidence alleging Gordon Anglesea had links with the ringleader of a paedophile ring in Wrexham.

This was Gary Cooke, a man who used aliases to conceal the fact he had a long string of child abuse convictions.

In 1979 police discovered photographs hidden in a hollowed out book at his home.

One of these was an indecent photo of Mark Humphreys.

In 1980 Cooke was gaoled for five years for a series of offences, one of which related to this photograph.

images

RINGLEADER
GARY COOKE is one of the most active child abusers in North Wales. He was the organiser of a paedophile ring which systemically abused boys at his home. In October 2015 Cooke and four associates — including former Metropolitan Police officer Edward Huxley and BBC radio presenter Roy Norry — were gaoled for a total of 43 years on 32 counts of sexual abuse. 
Photo: Trinity Mirror

Witness “Alpha”— who also gave evidence about Anglesea watching boys in the showers at the attendance centre — claimed Anglesea knew Cooke.

“Alpha” had been sexually abused by both Cooke and John Allen, the head of Bryn Alyn.

He said he was at Gary Cooke’s home one day when Gordon Anglesea turned up:

“he knocked on the door … he [Cooke] says it’s just a friend, or whatever.”

“And I’m sat there … and, let him in … he’s just walked through, they’ve talked in the kitchen.”

“And then they’ve come through and … said their goodbyes and then he’s gone.”

The defence attacked Witness “Alpha”.

Tania Griffiths put it to him that his claim to have seen Anglesea at a house owned by Cooke was wrong.

At that time Cooke hadn’t bought it.

“Alpha” said he wasn’t lying — he’d just got the wrong address.

Tania Griffiths also homed in on an incident in which he claimed he’d been abused in the same property by a member of Cooke’s paedophile gang, the BBC radio presenter Ray Norry.

“Alpha” claimed he was being assaulted on a glass table by Norry when it broke and the BBC presenter was injured.

The defence said this incident had, indeed, happened — in March 1984 — but not at the address “Alpha” claimed.

Roy Norry received hospital treatment for a deep wound to his lower back.

The accident was witnessed by a friend.

Anglesea’s defence QC put it to “Alpha” that he couldn’t have been present.

He was lying.

“Alpha” replied that he was telling the truth.

♦♦♦

GORDON ANGLESEA, the prosecution said, also knew another convicted paedophile.

This was Peter Howarth, the deputy headmaster at the local authority-run Bryn Estyn children’s home near Wrexham.

Howarth was gaoled for ten years in 1994.

A jury found him guilty of seven counts of indecent assault and one of buggery.

He died before he could complete his sentence.

Bryn Estyn was in the Bromfield section of the Wrexham police area — and Gordon Anglesea was the inspector in charge.

Anglesea said his first visit to the home did not take place until 1980 and he did not know Howarth.

The prosecution drew the jury’s attention to a letter sent by Bryn Estyn headmaster Matt Arnold to Anglesea in March 1980.

It was about Bryn Estyn boys arriving late at the attendance centre.

Arnold wrote:

“I have only just returned to work from a period of sick leave, so I’m not aware on a personal basis of all the discussions that have gone on between you and Mr Howarth.”

The prosecution also called retired police inspector Ian Kelman to give evidence.

PETER HOWARTH : 1992

PETER HOWARTH
THE DEPUTY HEAD of Bryn Estyn, Howarth died in prison after he was gaoled for ten years in 1994 on seven counts of indecent assault and one of buggery. Gordon Anglesea has always denied that he knew Howarth … 
Photo: Press Association

He told the jury he saw Gordon Anglesea at Bryn Estyn on two occasions between 1975 and 1980.

On one of these occasions he saw Anglesea with Howarth.

Kelman had given a statement to this effect to the defence in the 1994 libel action but ill-health prevented him from taking the stand.

Tania Griffiths, for Anglesea, asked him if he’d given a copy of his 1994 statement to Rebecca.

“No,” he replied.

(In fact Rebecca editor Paddy French obtained a copy of the statement from the files held by HTV on the 1994 libel action when he was a current affairs producer for the company.)

The current Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones, also gave evidence.

He’d been a police constable in the 1980s and his duties included acting as Anglesea’s driver.

“The only place I recall taking him was to Bryn Estyn children’s home.”

“If he wanted to go to Bryn Estyn he would ask me and I would take him.”

He said it probably happened half a dozen times between 1982 and 1985.

He thought Anglesea was giving cautions.

He said he dropped Anglesea off and did not come back to collect him.

arfon-jones

JONES THE DRIVER
ARFON JONES, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, told the court he often drove Gordon Anglesea to the Bryn Estyn children’s home. He dropped him off and was never asked to go back and collect him …
Photo: Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office

Anglesea later pointed out that Bryn Estyn was 20 minutes walk from his home — and that he gave cautions at the end of his shift.

Another former policeman who gave evidence was retired police sergeant John Graham Kelly.

He worked in the Bromfield section and acted as his driver from time to time.

He was also Gordon Anglesea’s second in command at the Wrexham Attendance Centre

He was, he told the court, a friend of Gordon Anglesea’s.

He was supposed to be a prosecution witness but when he took the stand, he appeared to give evidence supporting the defence.

He told the jury Anglesea rarely gave cautions at children’s homes.

Eleanor Laws, for the prosecution, then pointed out that this comment contradicted his police statement which said:

“I’m aware that Gordon Anglesea on a very regular basis visited Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn and conducted cautions at their premises …”

He added it “ … almost became the norm.”

Eleanor Laws asked — which version was correct?

Kelly now accepted that his written statement was correct — not the version he’d just given in open court …

Paul Godfrey also spent time in Bryn Estyn.

He was there twice in 1981.

He said that on the second occasion he was taken to the home by Gordon Anglesea.

He said that, just inside the front door, was what he called a “holding cell”.

He says that Anglesea ordered him to strip naked while staff brought a new set of clothes for him.

Tania Griffiths, for Anglesea, asked Godfrey if he was making the whole episode up.

“The point is you’re trying to paint a bad picture here.”

Godfrey came back:

“It is a bad picture.”

♦♦♦

THE PROSECUTION also called Alan Norbury, the senior investigating officer from Operation Pallial, to give evidence.

He was asked about the police interview in 2002 during which Complainant One produced the note which named a man called “Gordon” as one of his abusers.

There had been an email exchange between senior officers about this note which made it clear they believed “Gordon” was likely to be Anglesea.

Norbury was asked if these police officers should have investigated further.

Norbury replied that they should.

When Norbury was cross-examined by Tania Griffiths she asked him about the events that surrounded Gordon Anglesea’s arrest on 12 December 2013.

Anglesea was arrested and police executed a search warrant.

Ms Griffiths asked if police found anything when they searched his home.

They did not, Norbury replied.

When police seized Anglesea’s computer, the retired policeman  said:

“You’ll find nothing on that.”

There was nothing incriminating on the hard drive.

When Anglesea was arrested, police did not name him.

The press release stated only that a 76-year-old male from Old Colwyn had been arrested.

Ms Griffiths then placed an article from the Daily Mirror of 22 January 2014 on the TV monitors in the courtroom.

Marked “Exclusive”, this revealed the pensioner arrested in December was Gordon Anglesea.

Ms Griffiths asked Norbury how the paper had found out.

pa-17828985

FALSE ACCUSATION
DEFENCE BARRISTER Tania Griffiths accused the National Crime Agency [NCA] of deliberately leaking Anglesea’s name as “bait” to attract more complainants. She screened an article from the Daily Mirror as evidence of this tactic. In fact, there was no leak from the NCA — Anglesea’s name had been revealed six days earlier by Rebecca. Confirmation had come from the Rotary Club. Gordon Anglesea, who sat silent in the dock while his barrister made the allegation, knew it wasn’t true. We had warned him in a recorded delivery letter that he was going to be named. Rebecca has asked the disciplinary watchdog of the Bar Council to decide if the jury was deliberately misled on this point… 
Photo: Press Association

He didn’t know.

She asked if it was someone from his team who was responsible.

He said it wasn’t.

“You were hanging him on a line,” Griffiths put it to him, as “bait” to attract other complainants.

Norbury said that wasn’t true.

Griffiths asked him if he’d carried out an inquiry to find out how the information had leaked.

He said he hadn’t.

♦♦♦

GORDON ANGLESEA took the stand at 2.45 on Thursday afternoon, 6 October 2016.

He was dressed in a dark blue wide pin-striped suit with a tie.

He took the oath in a loud, confident voice.

He said a newspaper article in 1991 named him in such a way that it carried the “implicit suggestion” he was involved in child abuse.

Even after he won £375,000 in a high-profile libel case, he said his “nightmare” continued.

His QC Tania Griffiths asked him:

“You have heard these allegations made against you — have you ever behaved inappropriately to any boys?”

Anglesea replied:

“None whatsoever, to any child.”

He said the Wrexham Attendance Centre was run on military lines and that boys were not allowed to talk throughout the sessions.

The court did not sit the following day which meant that the prosecution could not cross-examine until Monday, October 10.

♦♦♦

IT WAS TO  be one of the most dramatic days of the entire trial.

Prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC asked Anglesea about the witnesses who said they’d seen him watching boys in the showers at the attendance centre.

“You’re the victim of malicious lies?”

“That is correct,” said Anglesea.

Laws pointed out that when he gave evidence on oath the previous Thursday he’d told the jury he visited the shower area at the attendance centre “once or twice”.

But when he gave evidence to the 1994 libel trial his evidence was different.

She read from the transcript

Anglesea was asked:

“Did you stand in the showers watching the boys regularly, Mr Anglesea?”

He replied:

“I went to the showers on every occasion the attendance centre was open.”

He was asked:

“…  it was not because, in fact, Mr Anglesea, you liked looking at young boys in the nude?

He replied.

“Absolutely totally untrue.”

Between 1978 and 1986 there had been something like 150-160 sessions of the attendance centre.

Anglesea had been given the transcript of the libel action to read over the weekend.

He now told the court:

“I read it and I realised there was an interpretation on there which to me was incorrect.”

Eleanor Laws said he was trying to “wriggle out of the fact you said two vastly different things.”

She accused him of lying under oath, either during the libel action or to the present jury.

Anglesea replied:

“I have made nothing up at all.”

He was also asked why he started giving cautions at the privately owned Bryn Alyn homes as well as at Bryn Estyn.

At Bryn Estyn he started because the principal was short-staffed.

But at Bryn Alyn he did it because it was “more convenient for the police”.

So who did he arrange these cautions with?

“Somebody,” answered Anglesea, “a member of staff.”

Anglesea was questioned again by Tania Griffiths.

He claimed all the allegations against him were “in my belief … part of a conspiracy.”

That conspiracy emerged in the wake of the Savile scandal “purely to obtain compensation”.

It was, he said, “abhorrent”.

♦♦♦

THE DEFENCE called several witnesses in support of Anglesea.

Retired teacher George Sumner had been a woodwork instructor at the Wrexham Attendance Centre.

Tania Griffiths asked him if he’d ever seen anything that made him uncomfortable.

“Nothing whatsover.”

Former Bryn Alyn resident Mark Taylor told the court he attended the centre in 1984 and again in 1986.

He was impressed by Gordon Anglesea: he and the rest of the staff were “fantastic people”.

He enjoyed the attendance centre so much that he continued going after his sentence was complete.

He kept in touch with Anglesea afterwards.

Retired traffic sergeant David Edwards told the court he first met Gordon Anglesea in 1966.

Anglesea was in Flintshire CID at the time.

Edwards said:

“He was one the best detective constables I ever knew.”

“I admired him.”

He was cross-examined by Eleanor Laws about statements he made about Gordon Anglesea’s visits to Bryn Estyn.

Edwards had said:

“I would like to add that Gordon would regularly attend Bryn Estyn for meetings on boys’ progress.”

He also told the court there was one occasion when Anglesea asked him to take the session because he had a masonic function to attend.

Anglesea turned up later in what Edwards described as “masonic gear”.

Edwards said there was a rule that they didn’t wear uniforms at the centre.

fullsizerender

JUDGE GERAINT WALTERS
Rebecca wrote to the judge before the trial asking him to make a statement about freemasonry. Our letter pointed out that Anglesea is a former mason and that the judge in the 1994 libel action, Maurice Drake, made it clear he was a member of the same organisation. Judge Walters did not reply to the letter — and did not make any comment about freemasonry. We do not know if he is, or ever has been, a mason. The United Grand Lodge in London— the governing body of freemasonry — told us Gordon Anglesea resigned his membership in 2007.

Edwards told Anglesea he felt it was “ill-advised” to come to the centre dressed in that way.

Another retired police officer, Thomas Harrison, also gave evidence.

His job was to take PE and he said there were always two members of staff on duty.

He confirmed that there were races in the field outside.

Tania Griffiths asked him:

“Was any boy ever held back?”

“No,” said Harrison.

“Was Gordon Anglesea ever there?”

“No.”

Asked about the boys taking showers, he said something extraordinary:

“I can’t remember anybody having showers”.

No other witness had made this claim — not even Gordon Anglesea.

Cross-examined by Eleanor Laws, he was asked how he could possibly forget about the showers.

He said he just couldn’t remember them.

She pointed out that the boys had to change for PE — and that the showers were part of the changing rooms.

Harrison said he thought the boys changed in the gym …

♦♦♦

IN HER closing speech, Eleanor Laws told the jury that the complainants had been “raw, credible and real”.

She said that if they were lying then they had given “Oscar-winning performances.”

She urged the jury not to “leave your common sense at the door of the jury room.”

Defence barrister Tania Griffiths said the complainants “told whopping great lies.”

It was a “conspiracy” and done with “concerted and malicious intent”.

She said the prosecution had homed in on “the one mistake” — the discrepancy between Anglesea’s evidence about how often he was in the changing rooms at the attendance centre.

This was a mistake, she said — he didn’t go to the showers area every time.

Tania Griffiths warned the jury against making a decision on the basis  of “no smoke without fire”.

She was obviously concerned that the post-Savile climate might influence the jury.

She said that no-one in the country would now say Savile was innocent.

But the jury should judge Anglesea not on the basis of emotion but on the evidence.

She told them about the Cliff Richard case where the singer claimed he was wrongly accused.

She also raised the television drama National Treasure where the character played by Robbie Coltrane was acquitted only for the viewer to see him actually raping his victim.

♦♦♦

THE jury started their deliberations at 9.55 on Thursday morning.

They had actually been in court for less than a third of the six week trial.

Many days were spent by the barristers arguing points of law.

The atmosphere in the court often became heated during these exchanges.

On one occasion prosecution QC Eleanor Laws accused Tania Griffiths, for Anglesea, of being “overdramatic” — branding her style “unattractive” and “offensive”.

Griffiths attacked Laws for trying to control her.

When Laws said she was trying to get “robust management of the case,” Griffiths snapped back:

“What she’s doing is robust management of me.”

On another occasion Griffiths complained Laws was constantly bringing up her greater experience in criminal law.

“It’s very wearing,” said Griffiths, “It’s very rude indeed.”

Again and again she complained the prosecution had disclosed material late.

Dogged and relentless, she tried repeatedly to widen the scope of the trial to include the events of the early 1990s.

She said Gordon Anglesea was a man who was falsely targeted by journalists and that witnesses had to be persuaded to make allegations against him.

The judge insisted the present trial could only deal with the evidence relating to the actual allegations on the indictment.

At one point he lost patience.

He said Tania Griffiths’ style was all wrong and he was “finding it tiresome in the extreme”.

“This is not a stage show”.

♦♦♦ 

THE JURY returned at 1.40 on Friday afternoon.

The atmosphere in Court No 1 was electric.

A court official asked Gordon Anglesea to stand.

She then asked the forewoman of the jury if their verdicts were unanimous.

She said they were.

The official then read out the first count on the indictment.

This was the indecent assault on Complainant One in the showers at the attendance centre.

She asked the forewoman to answer guilty or not guilty.

In a clear, emphatic voice she said:

“Guilty”.

Within seconds Rebecca tweeted the verdict.

There was a  similar verdict on the second count, the indecent assault in the showers.

On the third count, the alleged buggery, the result was “not guilty”.

But the jury found Anglesea guilty of the alternate charge of indecent assault.

On the final count, the indecent assault on Complainant Two, the jury delivered another guilty verdict.

Anglesea was remanded on bail until November 4.

Judge Geraint Walters told the now disgraced former policeman:

“You know yourself already that there can only be one sentence and that will be a prison sentence.”

Anglesea had planned to make a statement outside the court if he’d been cleared.

Now the court and the police agreed to sneak him out of the back door of the Mold court complex.

The media were not impressed …

♦♦♦ 

AN EXTRAORDINARY case was over.

No-one can know what went on in the jury room but one clue emerged.

Soon after they started discussing the case, the jury sent the judge a note.

MESSHAM

NEMESIS
STEPHEN MESSHAM, seen here at the launch of the Waterhouse Tribunal report in 2000, is one of the key figures in the North Wales child abuse saga. He was also the trigger for the police investigation that led to the fall of Gordon Anglesea. In 2012 on the BBC Newsnight programme he named Lord McAlpine as one of his abusers. By the time he’d realised it was a case of mistaken identity, Operation Pallial was already under way …
Photo: PA

They wanted to hear again the letter Bryn Estyn head Matt Arnold wrote to Anglesea after he returned from a long illness.

Arnold said he was not “aware on a personal basis of all the discussions  that have gone on between you and Mr Howarth.”

Howarth was the deputy head, later to be convicted of abusing boys at Bryn Estyn.

Anglesea claimed he didn’t know him.

Asking for the letter to be read out again suggests one of the jury’s key considerations was Anglesea’s credibility as a witness.

For a quarter of a century he’d tried to avoid being tarred with Howarth’s paedophile brush.

Anglesea also resisted attempts to place him in the changing rooms at the attendance centre.

But he was badly damaged by the fact that he gave two different versions — one at the libel trial and a completely different one at Mold Crown Court.

Even some of the police officers the prosecution called gave questionable testimony.

The evidence of Thomas Harrison, the PE teacher who couldn’t remember boys taking showers, was plainly hard to believe.

The jury may have wondered if he remembered perfectly well — but that he might have seen something he didn’t want to reveal.

Retired sergeant Graham Kelly made a statement saying Anglesea cautioned often at both Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn.

But when he was in the witness-box, he tried to say the opposite — only to be forced by prosecution barrister Eleanor Laws to admit his statement was correct.

Kelly — a man who enjoys a reputation as a decent, honest officer — cut a sorry figure in the dock.

He was uncomfortable and gave the impression he knew a great deal more about Anglesea than he was prepared to say.

And what of serving officer Michael Butlin?

He accompanied his father when he was employed to help Anglesea run the attendance centre.

He gave a statement to Operation Pallial but amended it on the day he was due to give evidence.

The change meant his testimony was worthless to the prosecution.

♦♦♦ 

IN THE END, the verdict probably comes down to the changed climate in which historic child abuse cases take place.

In the old days, people who complained of child abuse were damaged souls who had to battle against the poor impression they inevitably presented in the witness-box.

Their alleged abusers normally held positions of power and authority and invariably made a good impression on juries.

This was doubly so in the case of police officers.

Today everything is different.

Juries understand allowances have to be made for the effects of the damage suffered by claimants.

And they subject suspected abusers to greater scrutiny.

In Gordon Anglesea’s case they decided his evidence did not stand up to serious scrutiny.

His fatal weakness was a simple one — he never behaved like an innocent man …

♦♦♦

Published: 23 October 2016
© Rebecca

♦♦♦ 

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COMING
A FORCE FOR EVIL
HOW DID Gordon Anglesea get away with it for so long?
The answer is he used the cloak of public office to conceal his crimes and counted on protection from North Wales Police. This article lays bare the conspiracy hatched at the highest levels of the force in the early 1990s to cover up its failure to investigate child abuse — and to protect Anglesea at all costs. In the process, the force helped Anglesea win a famous libel case and made a mockery of the £14 million North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal …

 

CORRECTIONS

Please let us know if there are any mistakes in this article — they’ll be corrected as soon as possible.

RIGHT OF REPLY  
If you have been mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let us have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory we’ll add it to the article.


EXCLUSIVE: GORDON ANGLESEA — NEW REVELATIONS

October 21, 2016

 

headline_grid_guilty
GORDON ANGLESEA was today convicted of historic child abuse at Mold Crown Court.

The jury of six men and five woman unanimously found him guilty on four counts of indecent assault.

He was found not guilty of one charge of buggery.

Two men had claimed the retired North Wales Police superintendent abused them when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

The end of the case means Rebecca can reveal dramatic new developments in the case.

In 1997 a woman made an allegation that she had been indecently assaulted by Gordon Anglesea.

The woman — “ an adult acquaintance: of the family” — reported the matter to the North Wales Police.

anglesea

LYING
GORDON ANGLESEA admitted lying about an indecent assault which took place some time in late 1996 or early 1997. The fact that Anglesea lied under caution has been suppressed by the North Wales Police for nearly two decades … .
Photo: Trinity Mirror

The force submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service which decided there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute.

Lady Justice Macur, the deputy presiding judge of the Court of Appeal, recently re-examined the case.

She had been asked by David Cameron to review the work of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal of 1997-1998.

Lady Justice Macur reveals Anglesea “lied when first questioned under caution” about the alleged offence.

Her report was published in March this year.

She said the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal knew about the case in 1997 but did not obtain the file because North Wales Police claimed it was “not relevant”.

Lady Justice Macur noted that Anglesea “on his own subsequent admission“ lied in his first police statement about what she calls “a relatively minor indecent assault”.

She does not reveal the nature of the lie — or why she considered the indecent assault “relatively minor”.

macur_lj1

SUPPRESSED
LADY JUSTICE MACUR, the deputy presiding judge of the Court of Appeal, took more than three years and spent £3 million in her review of the work of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal. She said the Tribunal should have insisted on seeing the police file on the 1997 indecent assault allegation against Gordon Anglesea. It was relevant to the question of Anglesea’s credibility and could have altered the Tribunal’s verdict on the retired superintendent. When Lady Macur published her report in March this year, Anglesea’s name was removed because he was facing a criminal trial …

It is only with today’s verdict that the story can be told.

Rebecca believes the Macur Review contains more redacted material about Gordon Anglesea.

We asked the Ministry of Justice for a copy of the report with all redacted references to the retired superintendent removed.

A spokesman told us they would not do so — even though the Anglesea trial is now over.

Rebecca will take this matter up with MPs in the House of Commons.

♦♦♦

IN ANOTHER dramatic development, North Wales Police have confirmed an investigation is under way into an alleged cover-up in the Anglesea case.

In April 2002 detectives interviewed a man in Liverpool’s Walton Prison who gave them information about an alleged abuser with a distinctive birthmark.

The detectives were part of Operation Angel, an investigation into further allegations against already convicted paedophile John Allen.

Officlal records show the prisoner handed detectives a piece of paper with the names of three of the men he said had abused him.

The third name on the list consisted of a Christian name: “Gordon”.

The witness noted that “Gordon” was “prim and proper dressed, birthmark on face …”

nwpolicehq_002 3

COVER-UP
NEARLY A quarter of a century ago, officers from North Wales Police turned a blind eye to a serious child abuse allegation against Gordon Anglesea. Now the force — prompted by concerns expressed by detectives from the National Crime Agency — have launched an inquiry into what went wrong. 

Detectives from the National Crime Agency recovered internal North Wales Police emails which reveal senior officers were aware that “Gordon” could well be Anglesea.

One of the emails talked of “keeping quiet”.

A decision was taken not to investigate further.

Rebecca asked North Wales Police to confirm that the original interview was carried out by Detective Sergeant Challinor and Detective Constable Oldfield.

A spokeswoman would only say “the names you have provided are not entirely correct”.

Challinor has retired.

Oldfield is still a serving.

In a statement North Wales Police said:

“We can confirm that North Wales Police Professional Standards Department have received a complaint as a result of Operation Pallial that is being investigated.”

♦♦♦ 

A FULL account of the six-week Anglesea trial can be found in the article The Fall Of Gordon Anglesea.

Rebecca was the only news organisation with a reporter in court throughout the hearings.

The trial was a bad-tempered affair with prosecution QC Eleanor Laws and Anglesea’s QC Tania Griffiths often sniping at one another.

The jury — who spent most of the trial waiting for legal arguments to finish — threatened a revolt at one point.

On several occasions, the judge lost patience.

He warned the trial was in danger of becoming a “pantomime” …

♦♦♦ 

COMING
A FORCE FOR EVIL
HOW DID Gordon Anglesea get away with it for so long? 
The answer is he used the cloak of public office to conceal his crimes and counted on protection from North Wales Police. This article lays bare the conspiracy hatched at the highest levels of the force in the early 1990s to cover up its failure to investigate child abuse — and to protect Anglesea at all costs. In the process, the force helped Anglesea win a famous libel case and made a mockery of the £14 million North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal …

♦♦♦

DONATIONS

Rebecca editor Paddy French was the only journalist who attended every day of the Anglesea trial. He’s unpaid but there have been expenses of more than £2,000. If you want to make a contribution, just click on the DONATE button.

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THE FALL OF JOHN ARTHUR JONES

September 16, 2016

 

rebecca_logo_04

TODAY ONE of Anglesey’s most controversial figures was finally brought to book.

John Arthur Jones — disgraced council official and failed politician — was given an 18 months sentence for endangering RAF training jets.

Judge Geraint Walters told him he was a man driven by “arrogance”.

A jury had earlier found him guilty of 13 counts of shining bright lights into the cockpits of Hawk jets taking part in night manoeuvres at the Mona airfield.

The jets fly over Jones’ Parc Cefni business park next to his home  in the village of Bodffordd near Llangefni.

The prison sentence is the climax of a saga that started more than thirty years ago.

For three decades John Arthur Jones ruthlessly exploited the council in his attempt to create a multi-million pound property empire.

♦♦♦

IN 2012 John Arthur Jones started a campaign against the RAF.

He objected to jets from RAF Valley using the Mona Airfield near his business park for night exercises.

Valley is home to the RAF’s 208 Squadron which uses Hawk jets to train fighter pilots.

Mona has been used by the RAF for more than a century.

Jones’ Parc Cefni business park, which also includes his home, is under the flight path of the Hawks.

Jones initially asked the RAF to re-route the park to avoid the complex which includes a children’s nursery.

JAJ_01
“JESUS” ARTHUR JONES
IN 1998 John Arthur Jones gave an interview to HTV’s current affairs programme Wales This Week. He’d just been sacked as Anglesey County Council’s Housing Director because the authority had lost confidence in him. Jones compared himself to Jesus: “A man stood in front of Pilate two thousand years ago and Pilate said I can see nothing wrong in this man. But at that time the Pharisees said crucify him. Now then, the descendants of those Pharisees are living today on Anglesey – they’re saying crucify him.”

He felt that the flights intensified after he made this request — and complained to the newspapers.

In September 2012 the Daily Mail published  an article in which Jones threatened to step up his campaign.

He asked:

“Are our children being subjected, as some say in the village, to punishment by a gang of Hooray Henrys for daring to ask if they will fly over open fields instead of a children’s nursery?”

In another letter, he warned:

“Since you have refused to send independent observers to Parc Cefni I will be arranging for a weather balloon to be raised daily at the corner of our property. It will be taken down each evening at midnight.”

This prompted the RAF to ask North Wales Police to visit Jones — a move he branded “heavy handed and sinister”.

He dropped the weather balloon idea — but in 2013 began to shine a bright light into the cockpits of the jets as they approached Parc Cefni.

Several landings at Mona had to be abandoned because of the danger to pilots.

Undercover police mounted a surveillance operation and, on one occasion, saw Jones tracking the planes with a powerful torch.

In October 2014 he was charged in connection with 13 incidents of endangering aircraft between November 2013 and September 2014.

Jones denied all the charges and called members of his family to give evidence.

His daughter Catrin Lloyd Davies, a solicitor, and her husband, army captain Gareth Lloyd Davies gave Jones an alibi for one of the incidents.

They said the family had had a meal together and Jones didn’t leave the house.

Jones denied his campaign was actually driven by his failure to sell any of the planned holiday chalets on the site because potential buyers were put off by the jets.

Jones’ barrister Lisa Judge compared her client to the TV character Victor Meldrew.

In June this year a jury of 11 found him guilty of all 13 counts.

♦♦♦

THIS AFTERNOON Jones’ barrister Lisa Judge asked for an adjournment, telling the court Jones had attended a medical examination this morning.

Another was booked tomorrow — with a biopsy scheduled for later this month.

She said he was “a man potentially facing death” with a possibility “he could die in prison”.

Judge Walters said that he’d been told nothing about these tests until this week.

He noted that it was John Arthur Jones who had commissioned the examinations — and that he was paying for them privately.

He’d heard nothing from a consultant telling him exactly what the problem was.

In the absence of a proper diagnosis, he said, the claim that John Arthur Jones might be dying was simply “courtroom advocacy”.

He dismissed the application.

He told Jones he was a man  of “arrogance”.

He did not believe his claim that his campaign against the RAF was motivated solely by concern for the children attending the nursery at Parc Cefni:

“That was only one of the many lies you told during the trial.”

His actions were “highly reckless”.

He sentenced him to 18 months in gaol for each of the 13 counts, the sentences to run concurrently.

Tonight he is on his way to Altcourse Prison in Liverpool …

♦♦♦

JOHN ARTHUR JONES’ interest in the Bodffordd area began in the 1980s.

He bought a piece of agricultural land on a hill overlooking the village.

It enjoyed a magnificent view of the island, the nearby Cefni Reservoir and Snowdonia.

In 1987 Jones applied for planning permission to build a bungalow at the top of the hill.

He wrote to the director of planning to say that “for 10 years I have been looking for a suitable site on which to develop a fish farm”.

This particular site was perfect for the operation, he said, but there  was just one snag — security.

Jones wrote:

” … the best possible deterrent is to live on the site and be in a position to see the ponds by day and which can be lit up at night.”

Planners were opposed.

DSC_0995
COUNCIL HOUSE
THIS IS Nant Garedig, the house John Arthur Jones built in the 1990s. It’s one of scores of houses constructed by Anglesey councillors on land that the council’s own plans say shouldn’t be built on. The current owners have no connection to John Arthur Jones.
Photo: Rebecca

The application was in “conflict with the approved Anglesey Structure Plan Policies”.

But approval was given by other officers using delegated powers.

By 1990, by which time Jones had been appointed Housing Director, the permission to build the bungalow had sprouted dormer windows.

The fish farm never materialised.

At present day values, the planning permission was worth between £125,000 and £150,000.

He did not start building the house —  known as Nant Garedig — until the mid 1990s.

The construction was to be as controversial as the planning permission …

♦♦♦

WHEN JOHN Arthur Jones finally built Nant Garedig he did it on the cheap.

The foundations included hardcore which came from the former Shell oil terminal at Rhosgoch.

The council took control of the terminal in 1990, the year John Arthur Jones became Director of Housing.

The site was managed by the Housing Department.

At that time there were some 15,000 tonnes of hardcore left on the site.

In the years that followed much of it disappeared.

John Arthur Jones placed an ad in the local paper calling for tenders for what he called the remaining “random rubble”.

One of the successful tenders — for 200 tonnes at 50 pence a tonne — came from John Arthur Jones himself.

It went into the foundations of Nant Garedig.

The Housing Department did not send its Director a bill until two and a half years later.

Jones said he had asked for an invoice on three separate occasions.

When the District Auditor investigated this issue, he noted that this invoice was finally raised “during the period when the Director was being investigated by the police”.

The council also accepted a bid for the “random rubble” from a builder called O J D Griffiths.

In October 1996 John Arthur Jones drafted a letter warning the contractor that he had “carried a large quantity of stone” from the site “in direct contravention of the prohibition” not to enter the site without permission.

The implication was that he’d taken the stone without paying for it.

“Before I refer the matter to the Police for further investigation,” Jones continued, “I invite you to respond to these allegations.”

O J D Griffiths never got the chance to reply because the letter was never sent.

An official in the Housing Department, Paul Roberts, noted:

“John Arthur Jones … said letter not to go – speak to the contractor instead.”

The District Auditor investigated.

“I am particularly concerned,” he wrote in his report, “to discover that during this period Mr O J D Griffiths was undertaking work on the home of Paul Roberts … and later in the year sold and delivered hardcore from the [Rhosgoch] site to the Director of Housing and Property [John Arthur Jones] which was in the process of being constructed.”

“The apparent lenient approach taken by these officers towards this contractor represents, in my view, extremely poor judgement, particularly in the light of their personal contractual relationship with the contractor.”

At the same time the District Auditor was investigating, police began looking at some of the men working on the building of Jones’ new house.

Several were receiving housing benefit.

JAJ_02
“I DON’T BELIEVE IT!”
JOHN ARTHUR JONES — the man his barrister likened to Victor Meldrew — is no stranger to the police. In the late 1990s, after he’d been arrested by the North Wales Police investigating his use of builders on housing benefit, he went on holiday with a detective inspector from the same force. In the same period he also offered the former head of Anglesey police a contract — tracking down housing benefit fraudsters …

At the time his own housing department was mounting an operation to prevent housing benefit fraud.

John Arthur Jones was arrested in 1997 by detectives from the North Wales Police.

Eventually, he was charged with misuse of public office, intimidating witnesses and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The case later collapsed after prosecution witnesses admitted discussing the case during the trial.

♦♦♦

BUT MAKING a small fortune on his new home wasn’t enough for John Arthur Jones — he wanted to be a property tycoon.

In the early 2000s Welsh Water decided to sell its Bodffordd depot next to the Cefni Reservoir.

John Arthur Jones thought it was an ideal site for a private housing development.

He bought the five acre site for £241,000 in September 2003.

The previous month he’d sold Nant Garedig for £365,000 — and moved into the small bungalow that came with the Welsh Water depot.

He wanted permission to build 22 Canadian-style wooden chalets.

The council was happy to give him permission but insisted on conditions, the most important of which was that the park be managed as a single business.

This meant that Jones could not sell individual plots.

He has always maintained that this condition was unlawful and, many years later, a government planning inspector agreed and ordered the council to remove the condition.

Jones has always insisted that those people who criticised his plans  “… have a personal agenda based on malice and jealousy”.

Jones built two of the Canadian-style chalets but was never able to sell either of them on the open market.

The fact that the RAF conducted low-flying exercises was one of the reasons which put off potential buyers.

The remaining 20 chalets have never been built.

♦♦♦

IN 2004 John Arthur Jones was elected to the council.

A year later he had his own political party — the Radical Independents.

There were just four members — Jones was the leader and he was joined by Hefin Wyn Roberts, John Rowlands and David Lewis Roberts.

The group was small but held the balance of power on the island.

The glue that held the Radical Independents together was greed.

John Rowlands and David Lewis Roberts wanted the valuable planning permissions —  worth between £100,000 and £150,000 — which John Arthur Jones and Hefin Wyn Roberts already enjoyed.

John Rowlands got his almost immediately, despite objections from planners.

He’d given a field to his daughter and she was given permission to build a new house because she wanted to return to the island.

After she received the permission, she sold the site for £150,000.

David Lewis Roberts went one step further.

He secretly bought a plot of land near Benllech — and then tried to smash the council’s green belt policy preventing new building in the area.

When another councillor accused Roberts of corruption, Roberts complained to the Ombudsman who referred the matter to the council’s Standards Committee.

The committee decided that David Lewis Roberts was, indeed, corrupt.

It ruled that his conduct “had been within the generally understood meaning of ‘corrupt’ …”

and

“gave a clear impression that he had misused his position for personal advantage, and that it amounted to the criminal offence of misconduct in public office.”

The police were not interested in prosecuting Roberts.

But the electorate took a dim view of the chaos John Arthur Jones and his Radical Independents had unleashed.

In the election of 2008, John Arthur Jones lost his seat.

The turmoil he’d triggered continued for years afterwards, forcing the Welsh government to take over the running of the council in 2011.

The intervention lasted several years.

♦♦♦ 
Published: 16 September 2016
© Rebecca
♦♦♦

Note
This article is based on a series of pieces already published. They are:

MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU

♦♦♦ 

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CITIZEN SMITH

September 7, 2016

Note: this article was originally published on the Press Gang website. 

Owen_Smith_head_citizen

ONE OF the most common criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn is that he’s unelectable.

Critics point to the poll ratings, with Labour currently trailing the Tories.

But little attention has been paid to challenger Owen Smith’s electoral record.

In the past decade he and his wife have stood in four elections — all in traditional Labour strongholds.

They’ve lost two of them.

Even when Owen Smith wins, he does so with a reduced majority.

Some voters are not impressed with his style: he was nicknamed “Oily” in one election and arrogant in another.

Is there something toxic about “brand Smith”?

♦♦♦

THREE YEARS ago Owen Smith was the driving force behind a political manifesto.

He co-edited a series of essays called One Nation: power, hope, community.

The Guardian said:

” … a group of the party’s rising stars call for it to end the lockout of local communities from power and to bury top-down statist solutions that have failed in the past.”

It was a time when Labour was searching for a way to appeal to the middle ground of British politics.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband summed it up in the preface:

“… a One Nation Labour Party is a party of the national interest, not one part of the country or any sectional interest.”

In the opening chapter Owen Smith was candid about the problems he faced in his own constituency, Pontypridd in south Wales.

“Membership and majorities are counted carefully now, when once they were weighed. Belief in our mission is dwindling.”

He was also clear about the solution:

“I believe the answer comes in two parts: we need both bottom-up participation and leadership from the top; to simultaneously cultivate our roots and command the heights.”

But he admits his attempt to regenerate Labour grass-roots in Pontypridd isn’t working:

“ … in the three years since I was elected the means to galvanise that engagement has proved elusive and frustrating.”

“This is undoubtedly partly a result of the many previous false dawns that have promised progress but failed to deliver: it’s hard to feel progressive when there seems so little sign of progress for you and yours.”

But he was still confident things could be turned around.

“Slowly but surely, Labour is re-engaging with dialogue in our communities, and developing new common objectives and solutions that will prove the real foundations for our rebuilding.”

Part of the strategy was a move to bring greater democracy to the party:

“Iain McNicol [Labour’s General Secretary] has been leading reforms in the party aimed at building a more open and inclusive movement.”

Labour leadership challenge
BACK TO THE FUTURE?  
THREE YEARS ago Owen Smith was praising Labour for “… leading reforms in the party aimed at building a more open and inclusive movement.” But it was not until Jeremy Corbyn stood for leader that membership began to rocket — from under 300,000 to more than 500,000. Ironically, the party’s National Executive Committee have now barred some 130,000 recently joined members — most of them believed to be Corbyn supporters — from voting in the leadership election.
Photo: Ben Birchall / PA

In Pontypridd Smith thought he’d found a way to galvanise the community:

“Pontypridd Citizens, which will bring together churches and parties, unions and residents, in order to determine local needs and empower local leaders, is launching this year, taking its cue and its form from similar schemes that are energising communities across Britain.”

“It will mark a new beginning in the politics of Pontypridd, and Labour will be at its heart.”

The organisation should be three years old by now.

But Press Gang could find no evidence of Pontypridd Citizens — and when we asked people in the constituency, no-one had never heard of it.

We asked Owen Smith for an explanation.

He didn’t reply.

♦♦♦

WHEN OWEN SMITH was chosen to be the Labour candidate for the 2006 Blaenau Gwent election, he had no experience of grass-roots politics. 

The seat had a troubled past but the party was expecting it to revert to being a Labour stronghold.

Owen Smith probably thought he had a safe seat for the rest of his political career.

In 2005 popular local politician Peter Law stood as an independent.

A former Labour member of the Welsh Assembly, he’d been barred from standing as a candidate for the general election because the party had imposed an all-woman short-list.

Labour nominated trade union leader Maggie Jones.

Many Labour voters deserted the official candidate and chose the independent.

But Law — already diagnosed with brain cancer — died the following year.

His agent, Dai Davies, decided to stand in the by-election that followed.

Labour strategists felt Law’s death had taken the sting out of the rebellion — and that the faithful would return to the fold.

In the early days of the campaign a poll gave Owen a massive 12 per cent lead.

Labour mounted a huge campaign to retake the seat — spending £56,000 to Davies’ £7,000.

But Smith’s organisation was cack-handed.

Telephone canvassers angered voters when they began calling within days of Law’s death.

Activists were bussed in from all over Britain but they knew nothing about Blaenau Gwent.

Smith himself acquired the nickname “Oily”.

Dai Davies was a well-known political figure who outgunned Smith on many fronts.

One of them was Nye Bevan, the political midwife of the NHS, whose old Tredegar constituency was now part of Blaenau Gwent

Smith claimed Nye Bevan as his hero.

But Dai Davies could trump that.

He was a trustee of the Bevan Foundation, a left-wing think tank formed in his memory.

Smith did not become a trustee of the Foundation until after the by-election.

The result was Dai Davies won a narrow victory — by just 2,488 just votes.

It was a bruising experience for Smith and he decided not to seek the nomination again.

Labour regained the seat in 2010.

♦♦♦

THE LIKELIHOOD is that plans were already afoot to shoehorn Owen Smith into the Pontypridd constituency.

Just before Christmas 2009 the sitting MP, Kim Howells, announced he was standing down as the MP.

Soon after, there were press reports that Owen Smith was ringing members of the constituency Labour Party to make his pitch to replace Howells.

Howells is, of course, an old friend of Owen Smith’s father, Dai Smith but Owen Smith denies that the Howells played any part in his selection.

Smith gained the nomination.

IMG_1090
NEPOTISM HOUSE?
OWEN SMITH’S home in his Pontypridd constituency has an intriguing past. Shortly after he was elected in 2010, the MP paid £285,000 for the north wing of the listed building in Llantrisant. It was previously owned by the sister of former BBC boss Menna Richards who bought the property shortly after she formed an independent production company. She won millions of pounds worth of contracts from the Corporation. It was under Menna Richards that Owen Smith made his breakthrough into television — as producer of the politics series Dragon’s Eye in 2000.
Photo: Press Gang

In Pontypridd Labour was united — but there were other problems.

The Lib Dems, led by Nick Clegg, were riding high in the polls — and they had a well-known local candidate in Mike Powell.

When Labour councillor Glynne Holmes had his picture taken with Powell as part of a campaign to save the Post Office in Llantrisant, he found himself the subject of a disciplinary hearing.

He was cleared but it was a sign of how anxious Labour officials were.

In the end, Smith won by just 2,791 votes.

The Western Mail noted:

“There were relieved faces as Labour held on to the Pontypridd seat.”

Smith polled 14,200 votes — a drop of more than 6,000 on Howells’ figure in 2005.

In the 2015 election, when Lib Dem support collapsed, Smith was able to clawback less than 1,400 of the lost votes.

In the ten years from 2005 to 2015, Labour has lost a quarter of its support in Pontypridd.

♦♦♦

EARLY THIS year Owen Smith’s wife, primary school teacher Liz, decided to stand for election to the Llantrisant town council.

There was a vacancy in the Llantrisant ward where she and Owen Smith had lived for five years.

The Labour Party ticket plus the fact that her husband was the MP were expected to secure her election.

But there was another candidate who was far more active in the town.

Louisa Mills, an independent, had started a local charity and was campaigning for a community garden.

She beat Liz Smith by 320 votes to 273.

Owen Smith may not have been as asset in the poll.

Some residents find him arrogant.

One said:

“He’s risen quickly … due to his PR skills and actually believes his own hype.”

“In my view he cares more about power than he does about using that power to help people.

All of this means Owen Smith and his wife have now contested four elections between them.

They’ve lost two.

In the two elections Owen Smith has won, he has presided over a decline in the Labour vote.

What will happen when the right-wing press goes to work on him?

♦♦♦
Published: 7 September 2016
© Press Gang
♦♦♦

Notes
1
The statistics for Owen Smith’s Pontypridd constituency make disturbing reading for Labour. These are are the number of votes cast for Owen Smith’s predecessor Kim Howells and the share of the poll:
1989   20,500   53%
1992   29,700   61%
1997   29,290   64%
2001   23,000   60%
2005   20,900   53%
From a peak of 64% of the vote in 1997 — the landslide year when Tony Blair became Prime Minister — it was down to 53% by 2005.
Owen Smith hasn’t arrested the decline. The result for the two elections he’s fought are:
2010   14,200   39%
2015   15,600   41%
In the face of a Lib Dem resurgence in 2010 he was lucky to hold on to the seat. And even with the collapse of the Lib Dems in 2015 he was able to retrieve only a small proportion of the Labour vote he’d lost in 2010.
2
This the fourth instalment of this investigation. The other articles are:
Owen Smith: Forged By Patronage and Nepotism?
Owen Smith: A Man For All Seasons
BBC Forced To Correct Owen Smith Profile.
Click on a title to read it.
3
Press Gang editor Paddy French declares personal interests in this story:
— in the 1980s he was the editor of Rebecca magazine which was in competition for a substantial Welsh Arts Council grant. One of the competitors was Arcade magazine and Dai Smith, Owen Smith’s father, was one of its supporters. The council’s literature committee chose Rebecca but the full council overturned the decision — and gave the grant to Arcade
— French is one of the thousands of traditional Labour voters who have joined the party following Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Leader. He will be voting for Corbyn in the Leadership election.
4
The Rebecca investigation into nepotism and patronage at BBC Wales is explored in the articles:
The Son Of The Man From Uncle
In The Name Of The Father?
5
The cover block pic is by Gareth Fuller / PA.

♦♦♦

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CORRECTIONS
Please let us know if there are any mistakes in this article — they’ll be corrected as soon as possible.

RIGHT OF REPLY
If you have been mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let us have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory we’ll add it to the article.


BBC FORCED TO CORRECT OWEN SMITH PROFILE

August 13, 2016

Note: this article was originally published on the Press Gang website. 

Owen_Smith_head_BBC

THE BBC has been forced to correct an inaccurate profile of Owen Smith following a complaint by Press Gang.

In July the Corporation published an online article which included details about Smith’s career at BBC Wales.

Press Gang complained to Director General Lord Hall.

We said the article gave the false impression that Owen Smith was already at the BBC before his father, the historian Dai Smith, became involved.

In fact, the evidence suggests it was Smith the father who introduced Smith the son to the Corporation.

Press Gang also cited several errors of fact — and criticised the fact that the BBC has not provided a detailed CV of Smith’s broadcasting career.

Yesterday the BBC corrected the article but didn’t admit the original errors.

The Corporation also acknowledged the complaint.

Smith has declined to provide a full CV of his career as a journalist, lobbyist and politician.

The Press Gang investigation continues.

We have now asked Smith:

if he’s ever been a member of the National Union of Journalists

if he’s been a member of the Labour Party continuously since he joined at the age of 16 and

if he will, as Jeremy Corbyn has done, make his tax returns public.

There was no reply by the time this article went to press.

♦♦♦

JUST TWO days after he became the sole challenger to Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership, BBC online published an article called “Profile: The Owen Smith story”.

It contained the following statement about Owen Smith’s early career:

“After studying history and French at the University of Sussex, he joined BBC Wales as a radio producer. His father, Dai, was appointed editor of BBC Wales and head of programmes in the same year.”

Press Gang complained about this paragraph to BBC Director General Lord Hall.

First, we said it gave the impression that Owen Smith was at BBC Wales before his father.

Press Gang was concerned that the paragraph was a “red herring” designed to avoid the question of nepotism and patronage in Owen Smith’s career.

rhodri-talfan-davies
TAFFIA TELLY 
RHODRI TALFAN DAVIES, BBC Wales Director, controls an organisation which has been dogged by allegations of nepotism and patronage for more than a quarter of a century. There was controversy when he was appointed in 2011 at the age of 40 because he’s the son of former BBC Wales boss, Geraint Talfan Davies. It was Geraint Talfan Davies who appointed Owen Smith’s father, Dai Smith, to the second most powerful post in BBC Wales in the 1990s …
Photo: BBC Wales

The evidence is that his father was already an established broadcaster at BBC Radio Wales and that it was he who introduced his son to a senior producer at the station.

Second, the paragraph is inaccurate: there’s no such role as editor of BBC Wales (the post is Editor, Radio Wales) and Dai Smith was not appointed head of programmes until much later.

Finally, Press Gang complained that BBC Wales is refusing to release a full CV of Owen Smith’s broadcasting career.

Yesterday, the BBC corrected the errors — but didn’t admit the original mistakes.

The BBC journalist who wrote the piece, Brian Wheeler, told Press Gang he talked to BBC Wales political journalists at Westminster before filing the article.

He said he wasn’t aware there were allegations of nepotism and patronage at BBC Wales.

The Director General’s office also acknowledged our complaint.

But the Corporation has still not provided Smith’s broadcasting CV.

Owen Smith denies that nepotism or patronage played any part in his broadcasting career.

We asked him for a full CV of his career as a journalist, a lobbyist and a politician.

So far, he’s not provided one …

♦♦♦

FOR EIGHT days we’ve been waiting for Owen Smith to answer questions about other aspects of his career.

On August 4 his press team apologised “for the delay in getting back to you — as you’ll be aware it’s an incredibly busy campaign and we have a lot of competing demands … … please do bear with us as we try to reply to everyone.”

One of the questions we put to him was his salary as a lobbyist for Pfizer.

In June 2014, when Smith was shadow Welsh Secretary, he told the Sunday Telegraph his salary was £80,000.

Press Gang found a Times article of 2006, when he was the candidate for the Blaenau Gwent by-election, which said he was a “… £200,000-a-year lobbyist for Pfizer.”

We asked him which figure was correct.

There was no reply by the time this article went to press.

We also asked him to expand on his statement:

“I want to be a force for good in the world. Therefore, you need to achieve power. Nye Bevan, my great hero, said it’s all about achieving and exercising power. I’ve devoted my life to that.”

We asked him for proof of this devotion.

The available evidence suggests that, until he was in his early thirties, his interest in politics was virtually nil.

We’ve now asked him if he’s been a Labour Party member continuously since he first joined at the age of 16.

He says Nye Bevan, one of the founders of the NHS, is his great hero.

A think tank in Bevan’s memory — the Bevan Foundation — was established in 2001.

Smith said he did not become a trustee until 2007 — after he was selected as Labour candidate for the Blaenau Gwent by-election in 2006.

Blaenau Gwent includes Tredegar which was Bevan’s constituency.

And Smith didn’t stay long  — he resigned in 2009.

Yesterday we asked him if he’d been involved in the Foundation before joining as a trustee in 2007.

We have also asked Smith if he was a member of the National Union of Journalists during his career as a broadcaster.

There’s no evidence in the public record of any membership.

Finally, we have also also asked him if he will make his tax returns public, as Jeremy Corbyn has done.

He did not answer any of these questions before this article went to press.

♦♦♦
Published: 13 August 2016
© Press Gang
♦♦♦

Notes

1. This the third instalment of this investigation:  the first, Owen Smith: Forged By Patronage and Nepotism?, was published on August 3. The second, Owen Smith: A Man For All Seasons, was published on August 8.  Click on a title to read it.
2. Press Gang editor Paddy French declares personal interests in this story.
— in the 1980s he was the editor of Rebecca magazine which was in competition for a substantial Welsh Arts Council grant. One of the competitors was Arcade magazine and Dai Smith was one of its supporters. The council’s literature committee chose Rebecca but the full council overturned the decision — and gave the grant to Arcade.
— French is one of the thousands of traditional Labour voters who have joined the party following Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Leader. He will be voting for Corbyn in the Leadership election.
3. The Rebecca investigation into nepotism and patronage at BBC Wales is explored in the articles The Son Of The Man From Uncle and In The Name Of The Father?
4. The cover block pic is by Gareth Fuller / PA.

♦♦♦

DONATIONS Investigative stories like this one are expensive and time-consuming to produce. You can help by making a contribution to the coffers. Just click on the logo …

Donate Button with Credit Cards

CORRECTIONS Please let us know if there are any mistakes in this article — they’ll be corrected as soon as possible.

RIGHT OF REPLY If you have been mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let us have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory we’ll add it to the article.


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