THE MACUR REVIEW — Part Two: THE £3m WHITEWASH

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FOR DECADES North Wales Police have been accused of covering up a child abuse scandal.

Critics say the force failed to investigate allegations that residents of care homes were being sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s.

Britain’s only child abuse inquiry — the 1996 Waterhouse Tribunal — was set up to examine these claims.

The Tribunal gave the force a clean bill of health:

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

Rebecca has long argued this conclusion is suspect.

The Tribunal did not consider the testimony of a witness who claimed he reported the most serious abuser in the scandal — John Allen — to police in 1980.

This was 15 years before Allen was gaoled.

In 2012 David Cameron ordered two new inquiries into the scandal.

One was a police investigation, Operation Pallial: the other a judicial examination of the Tribunal, the Macur Review.

These inquiries presented an opportunity to revisit the cover-up.

Home Secretary Theresa May promised the House of Commons the evidence presented by Rebecca would be examined.

Operation Pallial detectives found new victims of John Allen from the 1970s.

In 2014 he was gaoled for life for abusing 19 of them in the 1970s and 1980s.

But Pallial did not investigate if any of these victims had tried to complain at the time.

And it found:

“ … no evidence of systemic or institutional misconduct by North Wales Police officers or staff in connection with these matters …”.

The baton passed to the Macur Review.

Its report — which cost £3m million and took more than three years to complete — found:

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

It brushed aside the evidence submitted by Rebecca.

The Review is yet another whitewash.

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JOHN ALLEN is one of the key figures in the North Wales child abuse scandal.

He ran a private care home complex near Wrexham, making millions looking after hundreds of difficult boys from all over England and Wales.

He groomed some of the most vulnerable and sexually abused them.

He is — by far — the most prolific child abuser in the scandal.

His victims were showered with expensive gifts such as motor bikes and hi-fi systems.

Some were sucked into a sinister ‘after-care’ system where they stayed in houses and flats Allen provided in London and Brighton.

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JOHN ALLEN
A SOCIAL worker with virtually no training, Allen’s Bryn Alyn Community was paid more than £30 million between 1974 and 1991 to look after problem children. In 1988 Allen’s salary was more than £200,000. He told the Waterhouse Tribunal that he spent a total of £180,000 on presents for residents and former residents. Allen was found guilty of abusing 25 children. He’s currently serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2014 of sexually abusing 19 children (there were 6 counts of buggery, 1 of attempted buggery, 25 indecent assaults and one of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency). This was on top of the six years he was given in 1995 for abusing six boys. He denied all the charges. The police investigation into his activities continues. 

Several committed suicide or died in mysterious circumstances.

In 1995 Allen was gaoled for six years after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing residents between 1972 and 1983.

But could the North Wales Police have brought him to book more than a decade earlier?

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IN 1996 rumours about prominent paedophiles being protected by police and freemasons led to Britain’s first ever child abuse Tribunal.

It’s known as the Waterhouse Tribunal after its chairman, retired High Court judge Sir Ronald Waterhouse.

In 1997 — while the Tribunal was halfway through its public hearings — the television company HTV investigated John Allen.

One of the highlights was a new witness who’d been ignored by the Tribunal.

Des Frost, a former social worker, had been John Allen’s senior administrator.

In his interview Frost said that, in 1980, a member of staff had come to him with “some rumours which were going round the organisation at the time”.

There were “some pretty hairy stories about allegations of child abuse by John.”

He could not remember most of detailed allegations except one:

“ … a member of staff caught him [Allen] in, shall we say, a compromising position and John had a perfectly legitimate answer for that one.”

And Frost wasn’t just passing on rumours.

He told HTV of another incident where he personally saw Allen one morning with a black eye.

Allen’s explanation was that it had happened the previous evening when he was trying to get into a caravan where a boy was sleeping.

Allen didn’t offer an explanation for why he was trying to get into the caravan — and Frost didn’t ask for one.

Frost didn’t want to believe Allen was an abuser but he was concerned.

He went to see a local magistrate about the rumours.

The magistrate told him he, too, “already had his suspicions about the stories I told him”.

Initially, Frost agreed with the magistrate that, in the absence of hard evidence, there was nothing they could do except keep in touch.

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DES FROST
FROM 1975 to 1986 Des Frost, a lay preacher and former social worker, looked after the finances of John Allen’s multi-million pound empire as deputy chief executive. In 1980 he claims he went to the police with some “pretty hairy stories about allegations of child abuse” by Allen. The Waterhouse Tribunal took no interest in Frost until television journalists interviewed him in 1997.

But Frost later changed his mind:

“I then decided to go to the police on behalf of myself and the rest of the staff because it was a difficult situation but I didn’t want it ever said that — why didn’t you do anything about it?

“I obviously could not go to the police in Wrexham,” he said, “because Bryn Alyn tended to keep them in business, with lads constantly getting into trouble and being taken there.”

“The probability was that someone would recognise me, and would communicate the information to John Allen, and therefore I decided to go elsewhere.”

He arranged an interview with detectives from the neighbouring Cheshire Police.

At the meeting, which took place in Chester, Frost asked them to pass on the allegations to North Wales Police.

Just before HTV broadcast its programme, the Tribunal learnt Des Frost would appear.

Officials warned programme makers they faced contempt of court proceedings if they revealed details of any of his allegations.

The allegations were removed but the programme revealed that Frost had gone to the police.

Broadcasters assumed Frost would be called to give evidence.

He wasn’t.

And when the report of the Waterhouse Tribunal — Lost In Care — was published in 2000 there was no mention of his allegations …

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IN 2010 Rebecca revealed the story of how the Tribunal had censored TV journalists.

The article also revealed another twist.

Despite his seniority, Frost had not been interviewed by North Wales Police when they finally started to investigate Allen in the early 1990s.

After HTV interviewed Frost in 1997, however, detectives turned up at his office in Wrexham — without making an appointment — and took a statement from him.

The man who carried out the interview, Detective Chief Inspector Neil McAdam, had been one of the leading officers in the criminal investigation of Allen in the early 1990s.

THERESA MAY

THERESA MAY
WHEN THE Home Secretary announced a new police investigation into historic allegations of child abuse in November 2012, Paul Flynn MP (Newport West) raised the Rebecca investigation.The MP asked her if she would “look at the evidence produced by Paddy French and the Rebecca website …?” May replied: “The police investigations will look at the evidence that was available at the time in these historical abuse allegations, and at whether the evidence was properly investigated and whether avenues of inquiry were not pursued that should have been followed up and that could have led to prosecutions. I can therefore say to the hon. Gentleman that the police will, indeed, be looking at that historical evidence”. Operation Pallial led to the successful prosecution of John Allen in 2014 but found “no evidence of systemic or institutional misconduct by North Wales Police officers or staff in connection with these matters …”.      Photo: PA

In 2009 Rebecca wrote to McAdam to ask why he’d interviewed Allen.

McAdam acknowledged but never replied.

Rebecca made an official complaint about his failure to answer.

The complaint was investigated but McAdam was cleared because he’d reported the matter to his superiors.

He was told responsibility for answering the Rebecca letter belonged to police headquarters in Colwyn Bay.

We had already written to chief constable Mark Polin.

He didn’t answer.

This was another mystery Rebecca expected the Macur Review to get to the bottom of.

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LADY JUSTICE Macur’s handling of the Rebecca evidence is disturbing.

She doctors our submissions.

Her report does not mention:

— the Tribunal’s censorship of television journalists

— the abrupt decision by North Wales Police to interview Frost when they’d ignored him for more than five years.

All that’s left is a single criticism:

“Two journalists have queried … the failure of the Tribunal to call a witness, Mr Desmond Frost, to give evidence.”

(As well as Rebecca editor Paddy French, the journalist and broadcaster David Williams — who has been involved in reporting the scandal from the beginning — also raised the Frost issue.)

Lady Justice Macur relegates the affair to page 176 of her 251 page report.

And it takes her just one paragraph — and parts of two later ones — to dismiss the evidence.

She concludes:

“ … I do not regard the decision not to call Mr Frost to be at all questionable.”

She reveals for the first time that the Tribunal did have a statement from Des Frost.

But there are serious questions about Lady Justice Macur’s version of how this came about.

She says:

“Mr Frost was contacted by the Tribunal as a result of evidence from another witness … and “…. made a Tribunal statement on 24 October 1997.”

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SECRET POLICE
FOR SEVEN years, force headquarters in Colwyn Bay refused to answer questions about its interview of Des Frost in 1997.  In 2009 Rebecca made an official complaint when the officer who carried out the interview, Neil McAdam, refused to answer questions.  The subsequent investigation cleared him because he had discussed the letter with his superiors who told him “ownership to respond” … rested with “someone higher within the organisation.” But the same questions had already been put to Chief Constable Mark Polin — and he also declined to respond …

This is misleading.

Frost was interviewed by the North Wales Police — not by the Tribunal’s dedicated Witness Interview Team.

The Witness Interview Team comprised retired police officers deliberately chosen not to have any connection with North Wales Police.

This was because an important part of the Tribunal’s remit was to investigate the activities of the North Wales Police.

It seems North Wales Police handed a copy of the statement they took from Frost to the Tribunal …

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LADY JUSTICE Macur says Frost’s statement echoes what he told HTV back in 1997.

She then adds:

“The Tribunal was informed that investigations were made with the Cheshire police in regard to Mr Frost with nil return.”

Who “informed” the Tribunal?

It’s clear the Tribunal did not find out for itself.

The implication is that it was North Wales Police who carried out the inquiry.

She says the result was “nil return”.

This is also misleading.

In 1997 Cheshire Police told HTV that they would not hold records going back to the 1980s.

A spokesman also made it clear what the policy was at the time — any allegation concerning another force area would be automatically transmitted to that force.

In other words, if Frost did talk to detectives in Chester, as he claimed, then his allegations would have been referred to North Wales Police.

Was the swift action by North Wales Police to interview Frost designed to prevent the Tribunal from carrying out its own investigation to see if his allegations had ever reached police in Wrexham?

There’s no evidence the Tribunal ever investigated this possibility.

Lady Justice Macur goes on to say:

“Mr Frost’s evidence was orally summarised” at the Tribunal.

Once again, this is misleading.

Tribunal chairman Sir Ronald Waterhouse appeared to know nothing about Frost’s Chester allegations.

In 2000 Sir Ronald agreed to meet Paddy French, who was then a journalist with ITV Wales.

French told Waterhouse Frost’s story about going to Chester police.

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SIR RONALD WATERHOUSE
IN A meeting with Paddy French in 2000, Waterhouse appeared to be ignorant of Des Frost’s allegations. The meeting was off-the-record and Sir Ronald insisted that there should be no record of it ever having taken place. It was only only after his death in 2011, that Rebecca was able to give details of the meeting and the letters which followed. The Macur Review was given copies of the correspondence …

Waterhouse appeared to be ignorant about Frost’s Chester allegations.

Waterhouse did know that Frost had been questioned — around the same time — by police over a separate incident.

A former resident had been arrested in Durham and a letter addressed to John Allen was found in his pocket which police suspected was blackmail.

Durham police asked North Wales to investigate and a local constable was sent to interview Frost.

But Waterhouse insisted the Tribunal believed Frost had no other information.

French later summarised Waterhouse’s position in a letter:

“Your position was that the inquiry had the local policeman’s statement: there was no indication Frost knew any more and that there was nothing he could add to the knowledge already gathered by the Tribunal team.”

In his reply, Waterhouse did not contradict this version of the conversation.

The second problem with the Review’s statement that the Tribunal actually heard Frost’s evidence is that there’s no way of checking it.

Lady Justice Macur refused to allow Rebecca access to the official transcripts of the Tribunal’s hearings.

These hearings were held in public and transcripts were freely available at the time.

This makes her next statement impossible to check:

“[Frost’s] evidence was therefore deemed to have been read into the evidence before the Tribunal without challenge.”

She adds that Frost’s “evidence is referred in part in the Tribunal Report”.

This is downright misleading.

There is no reference in the Tribunal Report which suggests that Frost directly gave a statement.

There’s a discussion about the letter found on a former resident by Durham police which raised questions about the possibility of blackmail:

“A police officer … was asked to investigate,” noted the report, “and learnt from the Bryn Alyn accountant at that time that money was being paid to former residents.

Although he’s not named, the “accountant” was Des Frost.

There’s nothing about Frost giving a statement to the Tribunal itself — and, as a result, there’s nothing about his claim to have gone to police in Chester …

♦♦♦

LADY JUSTICE MACUR concludes there was no reason the Tribunal should have brought Frost to give evidence in person.

She says:

“His attitude that ‘it was no big deal’ and his description of the information he gave to be rumours would not have indicated a necessity to call him, and may well have accounted for the fact that Chester police officers did not consider it sufficiently important to log or pass on to the [North Wales Police].

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WREXHAM POLICE STATION
WERE POLICE at Wrexham warned by Chester detectives in 1980 that a senior member of John Allen’s staff had reported multiple allegations against him? And was the fact that no effective action was taken the start of a cover-up by senior figures in North Wales Police? The force insists it has no records of Chester police referring Des Frost’s allegations to them …

She also uses a similar argument in explaining why the Waterhouse Report is silent about the Chester allegations.

She says:

“It would be unrealistic to expect every piece of evidence to be mentioned or to assume that it was therefore not considered by the Tribunal.”

“ … it appears to me that the nature of Mr Frost’s evidence was sufficiently imprecise to enable findings to be made either as to when he informed the police officers in Chester or whether they had adequately informed Wrexham police.”

This is nonsense.

The Tribunal report not only examined the issue of the Durham blackmail letter but considered evidence from four separate witnesses about it.

The letter is only indirect evidence of possible abuse.

Frost’s claim is far more explicit, more widespread — and more serious.

He claims he reported the allegations to the police.

And he says there were several people who could corroborate his evidence.

If the Tribunal was aware of Frost’s evidence, then its report had to consider it in exactly the same way the Durham blackmail letter was handled.

And that meant it had to hear directly from Frost — and those he claimed knew about the incident.

Frost’s testimony is a serious challenge to the Tribunal’s conclusion about the North Wales Police:

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

By endorsing that verdict, Lady Justice Macur has left herself open to the charge that she, too, is involved in the cover-up …

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Published: 10 May 2016
© Rebecca Television
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COMING UP 
PART 3: MASONIC FARCE
FREEMASONS DOMINATED the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal even though masonic influence in covering up child abuse was one of the allegations it considered. Some of those masons stayed hidden throughout the Tribunal hearings. One of them is now one of Lady Justice Macur’s colleagues on the Court of Appeal …

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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.

5 Responses to THE MACUR REVIEW — Part Two: THE £3m WHITEWASH

  1. Reblogged this on cathy fox blog and commented:
    Rebecca’s assessment of the Macur Review continues…

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