December 12, 2017


NORTH WALES POLICE deliberately with-held sensational evidence about Gordon Anglesea from the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal.

The force suppressed the fact that the retired police superintendent lied when he was questioned under caution about an alleged indecent assault.

That’s the revelation which emerges from the updated version of the Macur Review, headed by Lady Justice Macur, released on December 5.

The Review — launched in 2012 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May — examined the workings of the 1996-2000 North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal headed by Sir Ronald Waterhouse.

The case of Gordon Anglesea was central to the Tribunal’s hearings.

Anglesea’s name was removed — “redacted” is the technical term — from the Macur Review when it was published in March 2016 because he was due to stand trial on historic child abuse charges.

He was convicted at Mold Crown Court in October 2016 and died in prison shortly after he began a 12 year prison sentence.

The new version of the report — which follows a Rebecca campaign to have the redactions removed — adds to the growing body of evidence showing North Wales Police (NWP) was determined to  protect Anglesea.

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


THE WELSH secretary released the revised Macur Review — a report jointly commissioned by the Wales Office and the Ministry of Justice — in a statement to the House of Commons on December 5. For more than a year Rebecca has been calling for an unredacted copy of the report. In the days after Anglesea was convicted, we asked the Ministry of Justice if it would provide an updated version. A spokesman said no. In August this year we made a Freedom of Information request. This was refused – a refusal confirmed by an internal review which added that the information “was intended for future publication”. The Rebecca appeal to the Information Commissioner was being processed when the government decided to publish the amended report… 

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

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

The North Wales Police did not tell the Tribunal — still sitting at this point — about the allegation.

However, there were brief reports about the case in the national press which alerted the Tribunal.

The Macur Review notes that the Tribunal’s legal team wrote to the chairman, Sir Ronald Waterhouse:

“… we have requested sight of the NWP file in respect of the allegation of indecent assault …”

“The NWP’s legal representatives are concerned that this allegation (of indecent assault upon an adult) is entirely irrelevant to the issues before the Tribunal. “

“We believe that we should at least see the file, and unless you take a contrary view, we propose to insist upon its production to us.”

Lady Justice Macur notes that the words “justification needed” were written on the note.

She adds:

“ …  it does not appear that the matter was taken any further.”

The new version of the Macur Review makes it clear that North Wales Police deliberately covered-up a critical element of the case.

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

She notes:

“I regard the evidence that Gordon Anglesea had lied when first interviewed under caution about the allegation of indecent assault against an adult acquaintance of the family was relevant to the issue of his credibility.”

“Counsel to the Tribunal do not appear to have been made aware of this fact and would have been at a disadvantage in justifying their request for disclosure.”

“This information may have been significant in the Tribunal’s appraisal of his [Anglesea’s] credibility and would have been ‘fresh’ evidence to that which had been available in the libel trial.”

North Wales Police did not want this damaging piece of evidence to come out.

The force was covering up for Gordon Anglesea …


THE REVIEW also reveals that other important information was kept from the Tribunal.

Lady Justice Macur reveals the existence of an internal memo written by government law officers in May 1993.

This noted that “ … enquiries have also been made concerning Anglesea’s behaviour in other areas of his life.”

This revealed:

“One or two minor items of gossip concerning him have been reported to the investigating officers. For example … seen him at a local homosexual club … not been confirmed.”

These inquiries also included his “domestic life” which “also failed to reveal any indication at all of any homosexual inclinations on his part …”


THE JUDGE, who headed the four year £3 million Macur Review of the Waterhouse Tribunal, revealed an enormous amount of new information. Although much of it was critical of Tribunal chairman and fellow judge Sir Ronald Waterhouse she still decided there were no grounds to overturn his conclusions. Rebecca has challenged her verdict in two articles  — Bloody Whitewash and The £3m Whitewash.

This memo was never mentioned in any of the public hearings of the Tribunal.

Nor was the fact that it was common knowledge among police in Wrexham that Anglesea was having an affair with a young woman police constable (WPC) in the 1980s.

The Macur Review is also silent on this relationship.

The WPC made — but later withdrew — an allegation that Anglesea raped her during a night shift at Wrexham police headquarters.

Rebecca knows her name but is not revealing it — our investigation into this continues.

From 1979 Anglesea was in charge of the Bromfield division which covered outlying districts of Wrexham.

The WPC lived in this area and officers on patrol regularly saw Anglesea’s car outside her home.

The significance of this was to become clear in 1994 when Anglesea sued four media companies for libel.

They accused him of abusing three boys.

During the court case, Anglesea’s defence team portrayed him as a happily-married man.

Many North Wales Police officers will have known that this picture was false.

Yet these officers stood by and watched as the jury found for Anglesea by 10 votes to 2.

He walked away with £375,000 in damages.


THE REVISED version of the Macur Review is also silent about another example of North Wales Police protecting Anglesea.

At the time the Review was established, in 2012, a new police investigation was launched — Operation Pallial, carried by the National Crime Agency on behalf of North Wales Police.

There was an agreement between Operation Pallial and the Macur Review “governing how the two teams would work in tandem”.


FROM THE moment allegations of abuse surfaced about the police superintendent in the early 1990s, North Wales Police failed to investigate him properly. In the years that followed the force launched a sophisticated — and successful — operation to cover up its shortcomings. It wasn’t until an outside body — the newly-formed National Crime Agency — was called in that Anglesea was finally brought to book…  
Photo: Trinity Mirror

This means the Macur Review should have been aware of a highly significant incident which took place in April 2002.

Two North Wales Police detectives interviewed a man in Liverpool’s Walton Prison who gave them information about an alleged abuser with a distinctive birthmark.

This man — who can’t be named for legal reasons — gave evidence when Anglesea stood trial in the autumn of 2016.

The jury found his evidence convincing and convicted Anglesea of indecently assaulting him in the 1980s.

Back in 2002, North Wales Police detectives interviewed this prisoner as part of Operation Angel, an investigation into further allegations against already convicted child abuser John Allen.

Internal North Wales Police 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 …”

There followed an exchange of emails which reveal senior officers were aware “Gordon” could well be Anglesea.

One of these emails talked of “keeping quiet”.

A decision was taken not to investigate further.

None of this was known until the National Crime Agency (NCA) began investigating Anglesea in 2012 as part of Operation Pallial.

The NCA were concerned about the way North Wales Police had dealt with this matter and made an official complaint to the force.

Only the two officers who interviewed the prisoner — a detective sergeant and a detective constable — were investigated.

When Anglesea was convicted last October, North Wales Police told Rebecca:

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

North Wales Police have now told us the investigation was “finalised” in October 2016:

“ … there was no case to answer for the two officers; one of whom had retired some time ago.”



THE PROTECTION of Gordon Anglesea continued even after he started his 12 year prison sentence.

His conviction meant that his considerable police pension — perhaps as much as £25,000 a year, all fully funded by taxpayers — was potentially forfeit.

This decision was in the hands of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, retired police inspector Arfon Jones.


THE POLICE and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones is a retired police officer who worked under Gordon Anglesea in the 1980s. He was a prosecution witness in Anglesea’s criminal trial in 2016. Anglesea claimed he rarely visited the Bryn Estyn children’s home but Arfon Jones told the court he often dropped his boss at the complex.  
Photo: Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office

Under the Police Pensions Regulations 2015 a former police officer can be stripped of his pension if the offences were

“ … committed in connection with the [officer’s] service as a member of a police force and in respect of which the Secretary of State for the Home Department has issued a forfeiture certificate.”

After Anglesea’s conviction, Arfon Jones “concluded this was a case where the forfeiture of pension was appropriate.”

However, he had not applied to the Home Office for a forfeiture certificate by the time Anglesea died in prison on 15 December 2016.

After Anglesea’s death — but without consulting the Home Office — he decided that his widow Sandra should receive half of his pension.

Jones noted:

“There is no precedent in law to with-hold that 50 per cent especially as the beneficiary has not been convicted of any offence.”


NORTH WALES Police Commissioner Arfon Jones has declined to answer Rebecca questions about his role in the Gordon Anglesea affair. Jones, a former North Wales Police inspector, won’t say why he allowed Anglesea’s widow to keep half of his pension without consulting the Home Office. Nor will he explain why his damning testimony against Anglesea in last autumn’s trial did not feature in the hearings of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal in 1996-97. And he won’t say if he made a statement when North Wales Police originally investigated abuse allegations against Anglesea in the early 1990s …



The revised Macur Review can be found here.

Rebecca has published many articles about the North Wale Child Abuse Inquiry — see the Child Abuse and Gordon Anglesea pages for more details.

The paragraphs from the Macur Review which relate to this story are:
I am aware that an allegation of a relatively minor indecent assault was made against Gordon Anglesea by an adult acquaintance of his family prior to the commencement of the Tribunal hearings. It appears that Counsel to the Tribunal was informed that “the CPS had decided to take no further action in the case on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to support criminal proceedings”, but apparently not of the fact that Gordon Anglesea had lied, on his own subsequent admission, when first interviewed under caution about the allegation. A note to the Chairman from Mr Gerard Elias QC and Mr Treverton-Jones indicates that, “we have requested sight of the NWP file in respect of the allegation of indecent assault …The NWP’s legal representatives are concerned that this allegation (of indecent assault upon an adult) is entirely irrelevant to the issues before the Tribunal. We believe that we should at least see the file, and unless you take a contrary view, we propose to insist upon its production to us.” However, a manuscript annotation reads “justification needed” and it does not appear that the matter was taken any further.
I wrote to the present Chief Constable of the NWP [Mark Polin] on 15 May 2015 in relation to this non disclosure. The Chief Constable responded indicating that there is no material in the possession of the NWP to indicate why the file was not disclosed, but that it is possible that the file’s relevance to the issue of credibility was overlooked. Having looked into the matter, the Chief Constable noted that Gordon Anglesea had been interviewed during the course of the investigation into the indecent assault and an advice file submitted to the CPS, who decided to take no further action.
I regard the evidence that Gordon Anglesea had lied when first interviewed under caution about the allegation of indecent assault against an adult acquaintance of the family was relevant to the issue of his credibility. Counsel to the Tribunal do not appear to have been made aware of this fact and would have been at a disadvantage in justifying their request for disclosure. It is likely that the NWP overlooked the issue of credibility in favour of considering whether the facts of the alleged offence constituted similar fact evidence. This information may have been significant in the Tribunal’s appraisal of his credibility and would have been ‘fresh’ evidence to that which had been available in the libel trial.

I have seen the further faxed memorandum from [name redacted] to the Legal Secretariat’s officials on 10 May 1993 dealing at greater length with issues of discrepancy and credibility. It concludes, “although not directly relevant, enquiries have also been made concerning Anglesea’s behaviour in other areas of his life. One or two minor items of gossip concerning him have been reported to the investigating officers. For example … seen him at a local homosexual club … not been confirmed … [enquiries into his] domestic life have also failed to reveal any indications at all of any homosexual inclinations on his part …” A background note briefing the AG [Attorney General] subsequently in July 1993 assessed Gordon Anglesea to be of heterosexual orientation.


© Rebecca 2017
Published: 12 December 2017

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October 23, 2016

23 October 2016


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

On Friday [October 21] 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.


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.


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.


FOR NEARLY eight years the centre was based at St Joseph’s School in Wrexham. Magistrates ordered boys to spend 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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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, 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.


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.


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?”


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:


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.


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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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 …



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

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.


June 11, 2016

rebecca_logo_04OPERATION PALLIAL — the police investigation ordered by David Cameron into historic allegations of child abuse in North Wales — has cost £3.6 million so far.

The inquiry, carried out by the National Crime Agency on behalf of North Wales Police, is largely underwritten by the government.

The Home Office has paid 85 per cent of the cost — leaving the North Wales force with a bill of £550,000 up to March 2016.

A further £278,000 was spent by the National Crime Agency.

Rebecca obtained the figures from North Wales Police under the Freedom of Information Act.

Operation Pallial is still active and is forecast to cost a further £890,000 in 2016-17.

The final bill is likely to top £5 million.

This is in addition to the £3 million spent by the Macur Review of the 1996-2000 North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal.


SO FAR eight men have been convicted and seven have gone to prison as a result of Operation Pallial.

One was gaoled for life and the others for a total of 43 years and 9 months.

They are:

John Ernest Allen 

In 2014 John Allen, the former head of the private Bryn Alyn Community complex in Wrexham, was sentenced to life for sexually abusing 19 children in the 1970s and 1980s.

It was his second conviction — in 1995 he was gaoled for six years for abusing six residents of Bryn Alyn.

Allen is the most prolific child abuser in the North Wales scandal.


CURRENTLY SERVING a life sentence handed down in 2014. In total, he abused 25 children in his care at the private Bryn Alyn Community. The complex of care homes around Wrexham was an immensely profitable business — local authorities in England and Wales paid him more than £30 million between 1974 and 1991 to look after problem children. Operation Pallial’s investigation into Allen’s activities continues.

Roger Griffiths 

The former head of Gatewen Hall, part of the Bryn Alyn Community, was gaoled for 9 months in April this year.

He admitted possessing 51 indecent images of adults and animal engaging in sexual acts.

In June 2015 he was acquitted of two counts of historic indecent assault.

In 1999 he was gaoled for eight years for a serious sexual assault on a boy, an indecent assault on another boy and several counts of child cruelty.

Keith Alan Evans

The former care-worker at the Bryn Alyn Community was given an eight months suspended sentence in March 2016 for a physical assault on a resident in 1983.

He was cleared of physically assaulting six other boys.

Gary Cooke

A serial sex offender, Cooke was gaoled in October 2015 for 14 years on 15 counts of indecent and sexual assault.

The court heard that five vulnerable young boys were lured to his home in Wrexham and plied with alcohol and other drugs before being abused by Cooke and others.

Cooke has used many aliases during his long career — he now calls himself Mark Grainger.

He has convictions for child abuse stretching back to the 1970s.

David Lightfoot

The former Wrexham publican, an associate of Gary Cooke, was sent to prison for 10 years on eight counts of indecent and sexual assault.

Roy Norry

An ex-local radio reporter, Norry was another of those involved in Cooke’s paedophile ring.

He was gaoled for 11 years on six counts of indecent and sexual assault.

Neil Phoenix

Gaoled for three and a half years on one count of sexually abusing a boy at Gary Cooke’s home.

Julian Huxley

The former Metropolitan Police officer was gaoled for four and a half years on two charges of indecent assault.

Huxley was working as a civilian at Wrexham Barracks at the time of the offences.


THE CPS are considering files on a further 20 suspects.

Operation Pallial continues to investigate 100 historic abuse allegations.

Published: 11 June 2016
© Rebecca


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

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.



May 10, 2016


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.


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.


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?


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.

Picture 5

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 …


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.


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.


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.”


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 …


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.


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].


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 …

Published: 10 May 2016
© Rebecca Television

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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 …


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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