Socialist Worker

Fresh evidence of ‘systematic’ abuse across north Wales children’s homes

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2351

An investigation into abuse at children’s homes across north Wales has found “significant” new evidence of “systematic and serious sexual and physical abuse”.

A National Crime Agency report published on Monday of this week unveiled the scale of the abuse which took place between 1963 and 1992. 

Its investigation, Operation Pallial, is also reviewing previous police investigations into the abuse.

Over 140 people, including 76 since last November, have so far told police that they suffered abuse.

They are almost all men who were aged between seven and 19 at the time the alleged abuse took place. 

The alleged offences include physical assault and rape. The complainants have identified 84 people as responsible.

North Wales police said that 16 of the 84 have been named more than once, and that only six are still believed to be alive. Only one suspect has been arrested so far. 

Some 18 institutions have been linked to abuse.

Detective Superintendent Ian Mulcahey is the senior investigating officer for Operation Pallial. 

He said that the “serious allegations” would be “thoroughly investigated”.

Previous investigations into abuse have failed.

The 1994 Jillings report into the abuse was trashed because Clwyd council’s insurers feared a wave of writs from victims. 

Police refused to meet with the panel compiling the report. 

Some 130 boxes of material given to the police by the council were not made available to the panel.

And some photographs of men abusing boys in north Wales were deliberately destroyed.

The 2000 Waterhouse inquiry protected the names of 28 abusers. It is now being investigated for covering up the abuse scandal.

An unpublished report by Clwyd council showed that at least 12 young men died after suffering abuse in north Wales during the 1970s and 1980s. 

And an internal Clwyd council report, again unpublished, described “numerous claims that senior figures including the police and political figures might have been involved in the abuse”.

Tony Gregory said he was abused in the Bryn Estyn care home in Wrexham between 1977 and 1978.

“Nobody has ever admitted any liability,” he said. 

“We’ve been told we were telling lies because we were all after making a bit of money.”

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Article information

Tue 30 Apr 2013, 16:34 BST
Issue No. 2351
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