SINCE Rebecca began operations in 2010, its most important investigation has been the North Wales child abuse scandal.
There were two key aspects to this long-running inquiry:
— the allegations against retired North Wales Police superintendent Gordon Anglesea
— and the failings of the £14 million North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal.
In November 2016 Gordon Anglesea was sentenced to 12 years in prison for historic child abuse offences — the details can be found on the Gordon Anglesea page.
In 2010 Rebecca published a series of articles about the work of the child abuse Tribunal, chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Ronald Waterhouse.
The series was originally called The Case Of The Flawed Tribunal.
One of these articles, Silent Witness, tells the story of an important witness who was prevented from giving evidence to the Tribunal.
The witness — found by the HTV current affairs programme Wales This Week — claimed to have reported serious allegations of child abuse to police ten years before they began to investigate.
Television journalists were prevented from revealing the details of the allegations by the Tribunal.
But the witness wasn’t called to give evidence and, when the Tribunal published its report in 2000, there was no mention of his allegations …
A Mason-Free Zone? shows that the Tribunal’s examination of the role of freemasonry in the North Wales Police force was woefully inadequate.
In the years that followed, the Rebecca investigation deepened to the point we decided the Tribunal wasn’t flawed.
It was fixed.
These Rebecca articles were ignored until the Jimmy Savile affair fundamentally changed the climate surrounding child abuse.
The testimony of complainants was given more weight — the word of alleged abusers more carefully scrutinised.
The Messham Intervention tells the story of the tumultuous events of November 2012 when the BBC Newsnight programme accused the Tory peer Lord McAlpine of child abuse.
Abuse victim Stephen Messham later withdrew the allegation.
Silent to the Grave reveals the meeting which took place between Tribunal chairman Sir Ronald Waterhouse and Rebecca editor Paddy French back in 2000.
French outlined many of the allegations later published.
Sir Ronald Waterhouse implied he was unaware of these allegations.
Later investigations showed this to be untrue — the judge knew all about the allegations and deliberately chose to keep them out of his report …
In the wake of the Savile affair, there was concern there had been a cover-up in North Wales
David Cameron ordered two inquiries — the National Crime Agency’s Operation Pallial and the Macur Review into the Tribunal itself.
Rebecca made statements to both.
It was Operation Pallial which finally brought Gordon Anglesea to book.
The Macur Review was an examination of the Waterhouse Tribunal headed by Lady Justice Macur.
She effectively gave the Tribunal a clean bill of health.
In two damning articles Rebecca marshalled evidence suggesting this conclusion was absurd.
In Bloody Whitewash we pointed out that Lady Justice Macur’s conclusions flew in the face of her own analysis.
At the beginning of her report she cleared Tribunal chairman Sir Ronald Waterhouse but in the detail that followed she condemned him.
In The £3m Whitewash we drilled deep into the detail of the Macur Review report and found much of its reasoning suspect.
More articles on the failures of the review are in the pipeline.
Also in preparation is a major piece on the North Wales Police.
A Force For Evil will expose a conspiracy hatched at the highest levels of the force in the early 1990s.
Senior officers plotted to conceal failures to investigate child abuse in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the process, the force protected Gordon Anglesea — and made a mockery of the child abuse Tribunal.
The Rebecca investigation — it started nearly 20 years ago — has cost more than £15,000 to date.
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