More evidence that the Department of Health were told of Peter Righton paedophile network…and did nothing

In 1993, Hereford & Worcester social services department produced a report about paedophile ‘child care expert’ Peter Righton and his connections with other child sex abusers who were working in schools and children’s homes across the UK.

The report (dated 13.05.93) was sent to Virginia Bottomley’s Department of Health via Sir William Utting. It clearly stated that the abuse networks were still active and that children in care were at risk, yet the Department of Health – who have overall responsibility for children in care – did nothing to stop the abuse from continuing.

The report stated:

The infiltration of the social work profession by paedophiles appears to be an extensive and serious problem. It has become apparent that there may be a co-ordinated network of professionals at every level who are involved in the abuse of childen.”

“Amongst the men who have been identified from information in Righton’s home as paedophiles or likely paedophiles are a Bishop, current social services and education staff, and civil servants. A number of these individuals have criminal records for the sexual abuse of young boys, and, in the case of teachers, are on the D.E.S.’s List 99

“It is also clear that Righton has used his professional roles and/or contacts to meet and subsequently abuse a significant number of children either in care or known to Social Services Departments in various parts of the country.”

The report went on to give recommendations of how the Department of Health should deal with the problem, including a national investigation by a small team of experienced social workers and police. It was recommended that the investigation should be jointly funded by the Department of Health and the Home Office.

Until now I thought there was actual no evidence to prove that the Department of Health had received the report. But a Daily Mail article from February 1994 written by Peter Rose clearly states that the Department of Health did receive the report.

A child sex ring has been operating at the very heart of the system set up to protect youngsters in care, claims a secret report.

The paedophile network included two bishops, child care experts and academics, according to the document compiled after a joint inquiry by social workers and police.

The Government was last night facing demands for a full public inquiry in to the claims, which were made as a result of an investigation into disgraced former child care consultant Peter Righton.

The report calls for a national unit to be set up to investigate allegations against care staff, which are usually dealt with in isolation by local authorities. The Department of Health confirmed that the matter was raised with them last year and earlier this week claimed that they had passed the information on to the Home Office. But yesterday a spokesman admitted: ‘The letter was not passed on as originally thought because it was felt that a unit already exists, namely the Obscene Publications Squad, albeit that they cover the Met.

‘We are not prepared to release the letter because it raises sensitive issues particularly about striking a balance between protecting children and civil liberties’

It appears that the report was suppressed by Virginia Bottomley’s Department of Health, who refused to even pass on the information on to the Home Office. The police investigation in to Peter Righton was shut down shortly afterwards.

Hopefully the current Operation Fernbridge/Fairbank investigation will finally reveal who gave the orders that led to the protection of well-connected paedophiles and the continuing abuse of vulnerable children.

Daily Mail, 24th February 1994


Hereford & Worcester Social Services Department report, 13th May 1993


  1. Peter McKelvie said:

    I made the decision to remain anonymous when I passed to Spotlightonabuse the report I prepared
    for the Department of Health in 1993.
    I now have no problems in stating that it was my report

  2. Troyhand said:
    Understanding Youth And Crime: Listening to Youth?
    By Sheila Brown – 2005

    [Page 116]

    During the 1990s, media depictions of child abuse cases focused on projecting the ‘evil’ onto perversion rather than ordinariness (e.g. Guardian 27 May 1992, 14 July 1992, 15 July 1992, 6 April 1996, Observer 21 April 1996). ‘Paedophilia’, rather than victimization arising out of the everyday relationships between children and adults or the nature of institutional cultures, becomes the favoured discourse. Even here, much of the coverage warns against taking the issue ‘too far’, as in Barry Hugill’s Observer coverage of a court case that ‘cleared eight defendants but closed a children’s home run by Quakers’: ‘ABUSE CASE PUT HUGGING ON TRIAL’ ran the headline (21 April 1996). One might be forgiven for thinking that no occurence of child abuse in the homes had taken place. Yet the piece further reveals that children in the home had been kept in solitary confinement; ****that in April 1992 police officers had intercepted child pornography posted to a child care expert and consultant to the school, Peter Righton, who was living with the principal of the school, Richard Alston****; that Alan Stewart, a member of staff, was charged in April 1993 with sexually assaulting three girls under 14 and subsequently jailed for four years. But, claims Hugill: ‘At issue was the right of residential care workers to hug and hold children. It posed questions of discipline, affection, and punishment, illustrating the fear of paedophilia that haunts police and social workers . . . the school was run on democratic principles . . . It housed children rejected by other homes, many so disturbed that they were a danger to themselves and others. . .’ Hugill details the ‘good work’ done by the school and implies that its closure was part of a dangerous tendency to make a moral panic out of the occasional ‘bad apple.’

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