GORDON ANGLESEA: APPLICATION FOR £150,000 PROSECUTION COSTS DROPPED

October 1, 2017

1 October 2017
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A COURT application to make Gordon Anglesea pay £150,000 towards the cost of his prosecution last autumn has been abandoned.

The retired North Wales Police superintendent was given a 12 year prison sentence in November for sexually abusing two boys in the 1980s.

After the trial an application was made that he should pay £150,000 towards the cost of the prosecution which included a six-week trial at Mold Crown Court.

Anglesea died in prison in December.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has told Rebecca the application has now been withdrawn.

However, a separate investigation into Anglesea under the Proceeds of Crime Act continues.

Gordon Anglesea

GORDON ANGLESEA
THE DISGRACED police superintendent died before he could be stripped of his publicly-funded police pension. His death meant that his estate has also avoided a possible £150,000 bill to cover part of the costs of the prosecution against him. However, the National Crime Agency have confirmed that an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act is continuing.
Picture: © Daily Mirror

The NCA also confirmed that Operation Pallial, its investigation into historic child abuse in North Wales, is investigating a further 31 suspects.

Fifteen of these suspects are the subject of advice files currently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The remaining 16 are the subject of ongoing investigations which are expected to take more than a year to complete.

The NCA also confirmed that “a number of matters” — understood not to involve child abuse — are also being considered by CPS Wales.

As Rebecca reported last month, Operation Pallial had cost £4.3 million up to the end of March.

A further £1.2 million will be spent this year.

To date nine men have been convicted and eight have been gaoled.

A total of 361 complainants came forward and 143 suspects were investigated.

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Published: 1 October 2017
© Rebecca 2017

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NEXT
GORDON ANGLESEA & ARFON JONES: UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
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 1991 …

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OPERATION PALLIAL COST RISES TO £4.3 MILLION

September 15, 2017

15 September 2017
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THE COST of Operation Pallial — the police investigation
 into historic allegations of child abuse in North Wales — has risen to £4.3 million.

The figure, obtained by Rebecca under a Freedom of Information request, was the total at the end of March this year.

A further £1.2 million has been earmarked for this financial year.

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 £671,000.

An additional £278,000 has been spent by the National Crime Agency.

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

One was gaoled for life and the others for a total of 55 years and 9 months.

They are:

Gordon Anglesea 

The retired North Wales Police superintendent is the most controversial figure in the child abuse scandal.

He was first accused a quarter of a century ago.

At the time the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Anglesea then successfully sued two national newspapers, the magazine Private Eye and HTV in 1994.

He received £375,000 in damages.

In November 2016 he was gaoled for 12 years after new witnesses came forward.

A jury unanimously found him guilty of four counts of indecent assaults on two boys in the 1980s.

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GORDON ANGLESEA
THE TRIAL of the former North Wales Police superintendent took place at Mold Crown Court last autumn. The jury of five woman and six men found him guilty of indecently assaulting two boys in the 1980s but cleared him of buggering one of them. He died at Rye Hill prison in Warwickshire in December 2016.
Photo: Trinity Mirror

He died in prison after serving 42 days of his sentence.

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.

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 humans and animals 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 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.

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JOHN ALLEN
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.

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.

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THE CPS are considering files on further suspects.

Operation Pallial continues to investigate other historic abuse allegations.

 

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Published15 Sept 2017
© Rebecca
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COMING
THE MYSTERY OF ARFON JONES 
THE POLICE COMMISSIONER for North Wales has declined to answer Rebecca questions about his role in the case of Gordon Anglesea. He has refused to ask the Home Office to strip the disgraced former superintendent of his fully-funded police pension. And he won’t explain why his damning testimony against Anglesea at last year’s trial never surfaced in the 1996-2000 North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal …

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GORDON ANGLESEA: JUSTICE

November 4, 2016

Published: 4 November 2016

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

He will spend tonight in a prison cell in Liverpool.

Judge Geraint Walters sentenced him to twelve years in prison.

He told Anglesea:

“You were beyond reproach.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anglesea will appeal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A spokesman told us:

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

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

There was no reply.

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

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

These ran into several million pounds.

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

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

A spokesman said:

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

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

The Rebecca investigation continues …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He said they would not proceed.

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

He was found not guilty of one charge of rape.

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

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

1992

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

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

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

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

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

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

1992

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

He was at Bryn Estyn from 1977 to 1979.

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

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

1992

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

He said he was indecently assaulted on only one occasion.

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

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

No oral or anal sex took place.

1994

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s known as the Waterhouse Tribunal.

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

1996

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

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

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

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

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

He later admitted the lie.

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

2000

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

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

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

2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howarth died in prison.

PETER HOWARTH : 1992

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

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

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

Kelman said he saw Anglesea with Howarth at Bryn Estyn …

2012

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

The government ordered two new inquiries.

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

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

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

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

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

2013 

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

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

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

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

2015

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

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

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

2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki said:

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

He continued:

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

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

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

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

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

It failed to do so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The result was the Waterhouse Tribunal, established in 1996.

North Wales Police responded with another conspiracy.

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

And it once again shielded Anglesea.

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

ROYAL Investitures

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

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

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

The Tribunal concluded;

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Published: 4 November 2016
© Rebecca
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COMING
A FORCE FOR EVIL
HOW DID Gordon Anglesea get away with it for so long? 
The answer is he used the cloak of public office to conceal his crimes and counted on protection from North Wales Police. This article lays bare the conspiracy hatched at the highest levels of the force in the 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 …

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DONATIONS

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

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£3.6 MILLION COST OF OPERATION PALLIAL

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.

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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.

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JOHN ALLEN
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.

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THE CPS are considering files on a further 20 suspects.

Operation Pallial continues to investigate 100 historic abuse allegations.

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Published: 11 June 2016
© Rebecca
♦♦♦

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

May 10, 2016

Macur_series_head_2

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.

003_ALLEN

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?

♦♦♦

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

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 …

♦♦♦

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.

♦♦♦

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.”

nwpolicehq_001

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 …

♦♦♦

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.

029_WATERHOUSE2

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].

099_WREXHAM POLICE STATION

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 …

♦♦♦
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 …

♦♦♦

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

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


GORDON ANGLESEA RE-BAILED

April 29, 2014

rebecca_logo_04

POLICE BAIL for former North Wales Police superintendent Gordon Anglesea has been extended.

Anglesea was the 18th person to be arrested as part of Operation Pallial  — the re-investigation of historical child abuse allegations in North Wales — in December last year.

At that time he was bailed to appear at a police station this month.

A spokesman for the National Crime Agency, which runs Operation Pallial, told Rebecca Television yesterday that Anglesea answered bail on April 17.

He was then re-bailed until early September.

GORDON ANGLESEA The former North Wales Police superintendent has had his bailed extended until September.  Picture: © Daily Mirror

GORDON ANGLESEA
The former North Wales Police superintendent has had his bail extended until September.
Picture: © Daily Mirror

COMING UP

IT’S ONE of the greatest gravy trains in Welsh history. Glas Cymru — the not-for-profit company which owns Welsh Water — claims its sole concern is the welfare of its customers. But it also takes good care of its directors — paying them mouth-watering sums of money …

♦♦♦

DONATIONS  If you would like to support the work of Rebecca Television, you can do so by clicking on the DONATE button.

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THE MESSHAM INTERVENTION

November 13, 2013

rebecca_logo_04THE JOURNALISTIC nightmare which engulfed the BBC over the handling of child abuse allegations in North Wales has catapulted the Rebecca Television series The Case of the Flawed Tribunal into the limelight.

In November 2012 the Newsnight programme allowed Stephen Messham to falsely accuse Lord McAlpine of abusing children in North Wales.

There was plenty of evidence that Stephen Messham is a damaged character whose testimony required careful evaluation.  

But the BBC’s mistake has made it possible for the Rebecca Television investigation to be taken seriously.

David Cameron’s decision to launch an  inquiry means the allegations outlined in The Case of the Flawed Tribunal will be considered by a High Court judge.

(This article was originally published last December.)

STEPHEN MESSHAM

STEPHEN MESSHAM
Photographed in 2000 holding a copy of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal report, Messham was described in its pages as “severely damaged psychologically”.
Photo: Phil Noble / PA

HOW WAS it that Stephen Messham — a man “severely damaged psychologically” —  was allowed to accuse a senior Tory politician of child abuse on a  national current affairs programme when those same allegations had been dismissed as unreliable twenty years earlier?

Messham, the 49-year-old former resident of the Bryn Estyn children’s home near Wrexham, was the key witness in the BBC’s now notorious early November edition of Newsnight about child abuse in North Wales.

Messham claimed he’d been sexually abused by a senior Tory politician while he was in care.

Newsnight did not identify the man but a frenzy of speculation on the internet meant that Lord McAlpine was quickly — and falsely — “outed” as the alleged abuser.

A week later Messham saw a photograph of Lord McAlpine and declared he was not the man who had abused him.

The media firestorm that followed this disastrous broadcast forced the BBC’s newly-appointed Director General, former Newsnight editor George Entwistle, to resign.

It also cost the editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Iain Overton, his job.

It was the Bureau’s lead reporter Angus Stickler, a former BBC journalist, who came up with the idea for Newsnight and he presented the item.

On the morning of the broadcast, Overton tweeted:

“If all goes well we’ve got a Newsnight out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile”.

The night before Overton had attended an Oxford University Union debate where Channel 4 News reporter Michael Crick, himself a former Newsnight journalist, asked him if the unidentified politician was McAlpine.

The Observer quotes Overton as saying: “Well, you said it.”

On the day of the broadcast, Michael Crick spoke to Lord McAlpine who denied that he was involved in child abuse — and said he would sue if he was named.

Newsnight did not contact the politician because it decided not to name him.

So why did Stickler, an experienced reporter who won the Sony Radio Academy Award for the best news journalist in 2006, make such an elementary mistake?

LORD McALPINE The Tory peer was faslely accused of child abuse by Stephen Messham on Newsnight. He

LORD McALPINE
The Tory peer falsely accused of child abuse by Stephen Messham on BBC Newsnight. He wasn’t named in the item but quickly identified on the internet. He brought successful actions against many media outlets.  Photo: PA

After all, there has to be a good reason why such a serious allegation had never been reported by a mainstream newspaper or broadcaster in more than two decades.

That reason was simple — journalists could find no evidence that justified publication.

The only title that did accuse Lord McAlpine was the magazine Scallywag — and Scallywag was never taken seriously.

In addition, there is plenty of easily accessible material about Stephen Messham’s tragic life.

Take Lost In Care, the report of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse.

In its pages, Stephen Messham is identified as “witness B”.

This is what the report said about “witness B”:

“We are satisfied that B has suffered a long history of sexual abuse before, during and after his period in care and, to a significant extent until he left care, of physical abuse.”

“As a result he has been, and remains, severely damaged psychologically: he has been greatly affected also by the sudden death of his young wife in very sad circumstances …”

“A major problem is that the damage is reflected in B’s personality in such a way that he presents himself as an unreliable witness by the standards that an ordinary member of a jury is likely to apply.”

“Thus, he is highly sensitive to any criticism and explosive in his reactions …”

“He has been described also as manipulative and there are many matters on which he is particularly vulnerable in cross-examination.”

Lord McAlpine is not the only figure Stephen Messham has falsely accused of serious sexual offences.

He was one of three witnesses who appeared in the 1994 libel action brought by former North Wales Police superintendent Gordon Anglesea against Private Eye, The Observer, the Independent on Sunday and the broadcaster HTV.

See the article The Trials of Gordon Anglesea for the full details of the case.

Stephen Messham is not named in this report but he is the witness who collapsed in the dock.

He was cross-examined about inconsistencies in his evidence.

A jury found by a majority 10-2 verdict that Gordon Anglesea had been wrongly accused.

Damages of £375,000 were agreed.

Another publication where Stephen Messham’s approach to evidence is highlighted is Richard Webster’s 2005 book The Secret of Bryn Estyn.

Here Messham is given the alias “Lee Steward”.

Webster tells the story of how Messham was approached several times about Gordon Anglesea by the freelance journalist Dean Nelson.

Messham complained to the police that Nelson was harassing him.

In a statement he said “ … I would like to say that at no time did Gordon Anglesea ever sexually abuse me.”

It was only later that Messham made statements claiming he’d been abused by Anglesea.

There was, then, plenty of evidence that Stephen Messham’s testimony should be treated with caution.

♦♦♦

WHEN STEPHEN Messham finally admitted he’d made a mistake about Lord McAlpine, there was a danger the government would call off the two inquiries into the North Wales scandal.

But in the highly charged political atmosphere that existed in the wake of the Jimmy Savile affair, David Cameron and the Cabinet decided that they must go ahead.

THERESA MAY The Home Secretary told Paul Flynn MP in the House of Commons that the Rebecca Television allegations would be investigated. Photo: PA

THERESA MAY
The Home Secretary told Paul Flynn MP in the House of Commons last November that the Rebecca Television allegations would be investigated.  Photo: PA

They are a review of the Waterhouse Tribunal by High Court judge Mrs Justice Macur and an investigation of new allegations of child abuse in the 1970s and 1980s by the director of the National Crime Agency, Keith Bristow.

Rebecca Television (RTV) is already a participant in these inquiries and has made several statements to both.

In addition, editor Paddy French met with Mrs Justice Macur at the Royal Courts of Justice earlier this year.

Before Messham’s intervention, the series of articles published as The Case of the Flawed Tribunal by RTV were totally ignored by the media.

Now the allegations are likely to be tested.

The most important of the failures of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal highlighted by the series is the treatment of Des Frost, the number two at the privately-owned Bryn Alyn complex of children’s homes near Wrexham.

Frost’s boss John Allen was gaoled for six years in 1995 for abusing boys in his care.

Briefly, Frost claimed he had reported allegations of abuse against Allen in 1980 — more than ten years before Allen was arrested.

He said that he asked detectives from Cheshire Constabulary to pass on his concerns to police in Wrexham.

(The full story can be found in the article Silent Witness.)

During the period when the Tribunal was taking evidence, in 1997, the HTV programme Wales This Week interviewed Frost about these allegations.

The Tribunal found out and threatened programme-makers with contempt if details of the allegations were broadcast.

They were removed.

But Frost was not called as a witness and his evidence  was never investigated.

Rebecca Television believes this was a major flaw in the Tribunal’s deliberations.

As a result, the Tribunal conclusion — “there was no significant omission by the North Wales Police in investigating the complaints of abuse to children in care” — is suspect.

Police visited Frost shortly after he was interviewed by HTV and took a statement from him.

In 2011 we wrote to the North Wales Police officer who carried out this interview — Detective Chief Inspector Neil McAdam — to ask what happened to this statement.

McAdam discussed this letter with his superiors who, after discussions with police HQ in Colwyn Bay, told him not to answer.

Rebecca Television complained about the lack of a reply.

The investigation that followed cleared McAdam because he’d been instructed not to reply — “ownership to respond” rested with “someone higher within the organisation”.

We had already written to Chief Constable Mark Polin about the matter.

He did not reply.

In October 2011 we also wrote to then Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan asking her to intervene.

QUESTION TIME The  former Welsh Secretary did not answer a letter from Rebecca Television asking her to appoint a barrister to examine allegations that the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal had not done its job properly.
Photo: PA.

QUESTION TIME
The former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan (on the right) did not answer a letter from Rebecca Television asking her to appoint a barrister to examine allegations that the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal had not done its job properly.
The Tribunal had been launched in 1996 by William Hague (on the left) when he was Welsh Secretary. Last autumn  David Cameron launched an inquiry into the work of the Tribunal — not by a barrister but by a High Court judge.   Photo: PA.

The letter asked her to “appoint a suitably independent barrister to examine the Rebecca Television allegations.”

Gillan never answered the letter.

She passed it on to the Home Office where a press officer replied:

“Any concerns you have should be addressed to the chief officer (i.e. the chief constable) and not the Home Office. The Home Office has no power to intervene or act on your behalf.”

A year after Rebecca Television wrote to the Welsh Secretary, the North Wales child abuse scandal is not being investigated by a barrister as we requested — but by a High Court judge and the head of the National Crime Agency.

 ♦♦♦

NOTES

1
This article was first published on the old RTV website in December last year.

2
The timeline of last autumn’s events is as follows:

Wednesday, October 3
ITV’s Exposure programme “The Other Side of Jimmy” demolishes Sir Jimmy Savile’s reputation.
It emerges that the BBC Newsnight programme shelved a similar programme the previous December — allegations are made that the decision was influenced by the BBC’s planned Xmas tributes to Savile, who died in October 2011.
The row engulfs the upper echelons of the BBC including George Entwistle, a former Newsnight editor, who had just been appointed Director-General.

Friday, November 2
Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, tweets:
“If all goes well we’ve got a Newsnight out tonight about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile”.
The Newsnight report, fronted by Angus Stickler of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, interviews Stephen Messham who claims he was sexually abused by an unnamed senior Conservative politician.

The former politician is later widely identified on the internet by public figures — including Sally Bercow, wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, and Guardian columnist George Monbiot — as Lord McAlpine, former Tory party treasurer and a key supporter of Margaret Thatcher.

Monday, November 5 
David Cameron, on an official visit to the Middle East, announces two inquiries into the child abuse scandal in North Wales.
One would be into the way North Wales Police handled child abuse allegations in the 1970s and 1980s.

The second would be into the conduct of the 1996-2000 Waterhouse Inquiry by High Court judge, Lady Macur.

Tuesday, November 6 
Stephen Messham meets Welsh Secretary David Jones.
Home Secretary Theresa May makes a statement in the House of Commons on the North Wales child abuse scandal.
In the debate that follows, Newport West Labour MP Paul Flynn makes the following point:
“I ask the right hon. Lady to look not only at the fresh evidence but at the evidence that was available at the time and that was almost certainly suppressed by powerful people.”
“Will she look at the evidence produced by Paddy French and the Rebecca Television website on an edition of the Wales This Week that was never broadcast?”
This was Theresa May’s reply:
“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. That is part of the job they will be doing.”

Wednesday, November 7 
Messham’s story begins to unravel:  Guardian reporter David Leigh uncovers “inconsistencies” in his story.

Thursday, November 8 
Philip Schofield, presenter of ITV’s This Morning programme, hands a briefly visible list of alleged abusers to David Cameron during a live interview.
ITV later disciplines 3 members of staff but does not say who they are or what their punishment is.
The company ends up paying Lord McAlpine compensation of £125,000.

Friday, November 9 
Guardian suggests the identification of Lord McAlpine is a case of “mistaken identity” because Messham told the Waterhouse Tribunal that the McAlpine who allegedly abused him was dead.
Guardian says it had asked Messham to comment on the Wednesday and Thursday but he had declined.
Later the same day Messham issues a statement saying the man in the Newsnight programme is not Lord McAlpine.
“After seeing a picture of the individual concerned in the past hour, this (is) not the person I identified by a photograph presented to me by the police in the early 1990s, who told me the man in the photograph was Lord McAlpine”.
BBC issues “unreserved” apology for broadcasting the item.
All investigations at Newsnight suspended and Corporation stops co-productions “across the BBC” with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
BBC Director Scotland Ken MacQuarrie drafted in to prepare a report.
McAlpine issues statement saying he will issue libel writs.
Subsequently, the BBC pays him £185,000 in damages.

Saturday, November 10 
BBC Director General George Entwistle resigns with a £450,000 pay-off.

Tuesday, November 12
Bureau of Investigative Journalism editor Iain Overton resigns.
Angus Stickler, the Bureau’s lead reporter, “steps aside” while an urgent investigation takes place — he later resigns from the organisation.

♦♦♦

© Rebecca Television 2012 & 2013

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Donate Button with Credit Cards

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