1. Troyhand said:

    Independent – 15 February 2000
    Welsh children’s homes in abuse shame

    The North Wales children’s homes’ inquiry exposed a scandal which for 20 years allowed some of society’s most vulnerable youngsters to be sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the very people supposed to protect them.

    The North Wales children’s homes’ inquiry exposed a scandal which for 20 years allowed some of society’s most vulnerable youngsters to be sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the very people supposed to protect them.

    Up to 650 children in 40 homes in Clwyd and Gwynedd were abused by teachers, carers and even the heads and owners of the institutions, the inquiry heard.

    In harrowing evidence, a seemingly never-ending stream of witnesses repeatedly broke down in tears as they recalled how they were raped, beaten and bullied by carers whom the world praised for apparently devoting their lives to the welfare of children.

    Boys and girls as young as ten were raped and sexually assaulted by male and female staff and used as sex objects by carers; youngsters were beaten and forced to lick the shoes of their attackers or cut grass with nail scissors.

    Children who complained had their home leave cancelled, suffered more beatings or were transferred to even harsher homes.

    At least a dozen victims have committed suicide and countless others have led damaged lives, unable to cope in a world which totally betrayed them when they most needed help.

    Now adults, many are still struggling to come to terms with the years of abuse they endured.

    Deprived of a childhood, their adult lives too have been blighted by broken relationships, crime and mental illness.

    Compensation claims are expected to run into millions and experts have warned there may be thousands more victims from children’s homes throughout the UK.

    But, as horrifying as the actual abuse uncovered by the inquiry, is the systematic cover-up of the situation by social workers, local authorities, police and even politicians.

    Youngsters were trapped in what the inquiry’s QC called “a twilight world of bewildering inconsistency” – abused by the people they were told would care for them, unable to make their voices heard beyond the walls of the homes.

    Those whom they should have been able to confide in – or complain to – were often their attackers.

    Even when concerns reached the outside world, complaints were dismissed, damning reports swept under the carpet, police investigations conducted half-heartedly, appeals to government ministers ignored.

    Complicity and complacency allowed the abuse to continue for years after concerns were first raised.

    Some abusers have now been jailed – others are likely to be named in the report today.

    And those who allowed the abuse to happen – the council bosses, detectives and politicians – can also expect to face severe criticism.

    The inquiry has taken three years, cost £13 million, heard evidence from 575 witnesses and amassed 43,000 pages of evidence.

    When William Hague as Welsh Secretary ordered the tribunal of inquiry in 1996, it was the first time such powers had been used to investigate allegations of child abuse.

    It quickly became the biggest inquiry into child abuse the country had ever seen, uncovering an appalling catalogue of crimes.

    Worries about the standard of care in children’s homes in north Wales were first raised in 1986 by social worker Alison Taylor.

    She told her local councillor of her concerns about physical abuse and bullying of children at the Ty’r Felin council home in Gwynedd.

    A meeting was set up between Mrs Taylor and the head of North Wales CID Detective Chief Superintendent Gwyn Owen.

    But after he investigated her allegations no action was taken and Mrs Taylor was sacked from her job. She later won her case for unfair dismissal.

    Undeterred, she spent the next four years writing to the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Department of Health and the Welsh Office, repeating her allegations.

    Letters were ignored or passed on. When, finally, an inspection of Gwynedd homes was ordered in 1988, Mrs Taylor was told the inspectors could “find nothing” to back up her claims.

    But another 1988 report commissioned by Gledwyn Jones, then director of Clwyd Social Services, contained devastating criticisms of the country’s children’s homes and social services.

    The report found there was no adequate complaints process, no overall planning and no proper control of the homes.

    But Mr Jones suppressed the report and did not even tell councillors about it.

    It emerged during the inquiry that four reports in the early Eighties had raised concerns about the homes and their management, none of which was published or acted on.

    The council’s policy of only acting on a child’s complaint if it was backed up with independent witnesses also meant that few, if any, allegations were ever investigated.

    In Gwynedd, the same situation prevailed – Lucille Hughes, director of the country’s social services from 1983-1996, later admitted the council had failed children in its care.

    Then in 1990, a 14-year-old boy at the Cartrefle children’s home in Clwyd accused the then head, Stephen Norris, of sexually assaulting him in the showers.

    Norris pleaded guilty to sexual offences against boys in the home and was jailed for three and a half years.

    In 1991 North Wales Police were again asked to investigate cases of suspected abuse in children’s homes.

    This time hundreds of former residents were interviewed and the first evidence of systematic abuse was uncovered.

    Before working at Cartrefle, Norris had been employed at the Bryn Estyn children’s home, also in Clwyd.

    Former residents told police they had been abused both by Norris and the deputy head of the home, Peter Howarth.

    From there the police were led to the private Bryn Alyn home in the same area, where more cases of abuse were uncovered.

    John Allen, the wealthy owner of Bryn Alyn, was named by residents as one of their attackers.

    The police investigation led to Allen, Howarth and Norris being convicted of abusing a total of 22 boys and receiving cumulative jail sentences of 23 years.

    A private inquiry was set up by Clwyd council in the wake of the prosecutions, but the damning 1996 report was not published because the council was told by its insurers that they could be sued for libel by those named as abusers, or for compensation by the abused.

    But on June 17 of that year the then Welsh Secretary William Hague announced a full public inquiry, saying “the Government is determined that there should be no cover-up of events in the past”.

    Some victims have waited more than two decades for this day.

  2. Troyhand said:

    The Mirror (London, England) – February 22, 2000
    DO YOU KNOW WHO’S LIVING NEXT DOOR TO YOU?; We unveil the Waterhouse 28 to see if you can help to track them down.

    DEPARTMENT of Health officials have admitted that they do not know where many of the 28 people listed in the Waterhouse Report are now living.

    Here, as a service to our readers, we publish the information contained in the report about those 28 men and women.

    We are not conducting a witch hunt, we are simply making public what is already known by some.

    BORN: April 24, 1933

    CAREER: Spent 13 years in the Royal Navy before becoming a teacher in 1970. Took over as Deputy Principal at Bryn Estyn in 1977. Previously worked at a remand home in Enfield and a community home in Hertfordshire. When Bryn Estyn closed in 1984 he moved to Cherry Hill Community Home, also in Wrexham, before retiring in 1986.

    TRIBUNAL: Matthews was the subject of three main allegations, admitting he used excessive force on boys. He has never been convicted of an offence.


    BORN: April 5, 1950

    CAREER: Joined the Bryn Estyn staff as a temporary child care officer in 1974. Before that he worked as a Press photographer for six years and in linen and shoe factories in Northern Ireland for another five. He also worked at children’s homes in Leicester and Southwark and was a lumberjack in Scotland. Stayed at Bryn Estyn until it closed in 1984 when he was employed at Chevet Hey care home.

    TRIBUNAL: Heard complaints by 39 ex-residents of physical abuse spanning Wilson’s 10 years at Bryn Estyn. Seven former members of staff also admitted he was a violent bully. In 1994 he pleaded guilty to three offences of assault causing ABH and one of common assault on a boy at Bryn Estyn and was given a 15-month suspended sentence.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Oswestry, Shropshire

    BORN: February 2, 1936.

    CAREER: Joined Bryn Estyn as a houseparent with his wife Margaret in 1974. Following his national service he spent 10 years as a labourer, coach driver and insurance clerk. The father-of-two’s first job in the child care system was at a home in Greystone Heath. Became senior houseparent at Bryn Estyn in 1977 and stayed in charge until its closure when he transferred to Cartrefle Community Home in Broughton.

    TRIBUNAL: Heard how Norris would befriend boys by offering them a sympathetic ear. He was obsessed with sexual matters and was present in the shower block when boys washed themselves. Norris was jailed for three and a half years in 1990 for five indecent assaults involving three boys. Further jailed in 1993 for seven years for serious sex offences on boys at Bryn Estyn.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Known to police

    BORN: March 11, 1958

    CAREER: Employed as a child care officer at Bryn Estyn in 1979. Before that he had worked as a youth worker in Holywell and in camps in the USA. A qualified PE teacher, he moved to Chevet Hey when Bryn Estyn closed.

    TRIBUNAL: In all, 17 former Bryn Estyn residents complained of physical assaults by Birch during the five years he worked there. He was acquitted of two sexual offences alleged against him in 1995.


    BORN: January 29, 1929

    CAREER: Employed at Bryn Estyn as a night care officer in 1976 when he was 47. He had been a corporal in the Army followed by 23 years as a fitter for an aircraft company. He had no experience of dealing with children in care.

    TRIBUNAL: Davies was described by two witnesses as a “nutter”. There were 12 complaints against him and six referred to Davies hitting out with a torch. Concluded he did use physical force inappropriately from time to time but most of it was due to inexperience.


    BORN: March 23, 1936

    CAREER: He was officer in charge of Ty’r Felin children’s home in Gwynedd from 1978 to 1990. During this time his wife June was also employed at the home. Eventually – before his health deteriorated – Dodd became the supervisor of all the county’s care homes.

    TRIBUNAL: More than 80 former residents made complaints about Dodd. He ran Ty’r Felin like a harsh sergeant-major might run an Army camp and “we are satisfied that Dodd did frequently use excessive force to children in his care”. He has never been convicted of offences.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Bangor, north Wales

    BORN: Sep 18, 1949

    CAREER: Took up his post as deputy officer in charge at Little Acton Assessment Centre, Wrexham, in 1974. He resigned two years later. He was formerly a houseparent in Liverpool and after his resignation became an unqualified social worker for Clwyd County Council. He resigned again in 1981 after successive police investigations of allegations of sexual abuse made against him.

    TRIBUNAL: Three witnesses made complaints against Jones. One former boy resident alleged Jones had made sexual advances to him on two occasions and claimed he used to walk around blowing kisses and nipping backsides. Jones has never been convicted of offences.


    BORN: August 21, 1935

    CAREER: Succeeded Huw Meurig Evans as officer in charge of Little Acton Assessment Centre in 1976. Previously he was a trainee forester, salesman, Army musician and assistant manager in a finance company.

    TRIBUNAL: He was suspended from Little Acton in 1978 following an allegation of rape made by a girl resident. The tribunal heard allegations from staff he had given children alcohol and allegedly spent too much time “counselling” girls. He has never been convicted of any charges.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Wrexham, north Wales

    BORN: December 24, 1951

    CAREER: Joined Little Acton staff in 1974, became a senior housemaster two years later.

    TRIBUNAL: Wilson pleaded guilty in 1977 to offences of indecent assault, gross indecency and attempted gross indecency. He was sentenced to 15 months behind bars and was dismissed from Clwyd County Council.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Flint, north Wales

    BORN: May 27, 1951

    CAREER: He was a deputy child care officer at Bersham Hall for 10 years from 1978, then he was promoted to officer in charge for another decade.

    TRIBUNAL: Four witnesses alleged physical assaults by Thomas and he admitted that on a number of occasions he did use excessive force. He has never been convicted of offences.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Mold, north Wales

    BORN: October 24, 1941

    CAREER: Deputy officer in charge at Bersham Hall in Wrexham for less than a year between 1972 and 1973.

    TRIBUNAL: Heard eight complaints from former residents. Three alleged sexual abuse and a Chevet Hey ex-resident alleged he was indecently assaulted in the summer of 1973. In 1980 Taylor was convicted of two indecent assaults on a teenager. Placed on two years’ probation.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Nantwich, Cheshire

    BORN: November 11, 1940

    CAREER: Joined Bryn Estyn in 1972 and stayed until it closed in 1984 when he went to Bersham Hall for six years. A varied career in factory and office work before going to teach English at the home.

    TRIBUNAL: There were 14 complaints made for alleged assault while he was at Bryn Estyn and three in his time at Bersham Hall. In his evidence Ilton denied all the allegations and described his period at Bryn Estyn as “marvellously happy.” The Waterhouse report said he had a “narrow, disciplinarian approach to his duties.”


    BORN: September 3, 1959

    CAREER: Went to Chevet Hey as a care officer in 1979 when she was 20 years old. She left school when she was 16 with eight O Levels and had 18 months’ care experience before going to the Wrexham home. She was suspended seven years later.

    TRIBUNAL: Two former residents – a male and female – complained of sexual abuse. In 1986 she was convicted for indecent assault and got a suspended sentence.


    BORN: June 12, 1951

    CAREER: Worked for Clwyd County Council as a social worker for the physically handicapped at the Rhuddlan area office. He and Jacqueline Thomas were big friends.

    TRIBUNAL: In 1987 Gillison pleaded guilty to two offences of gross indecency with a male resident at Bersham Hall and was sentenced to three and a quarter years in prison.


    BORN: September 4, 1951

    CAREER: Joined as deputy officer in charge at Cartrefle home in 1980 where she stayed for 10 years. Previously employed by Clwyd County Council at a different care home in the area. She has also been a clerical assistant and nursery nurse.

    TRIBUNAL: Was forced to resign from her post after she admitted having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy at Cartrefle. She attributed her conduct to a low emotional state after ending an 11-year relationship.


    BORN: July 22, 1947

    CAREER: The senior care officer at South Meadow Community Centre from 1969 to the end of 1972. She lived in Staffordshire previously working in the packing department of a Royal Doulton factory and teaching at Sunday school. She left the Prestatyn home in 1973 to sit a formal care qualification, returning a year later for a further eight year stint at the helm.

    TRIBUNAL: Former residents who alleged physical abuse said Glover was a “Jeckyll and Hyde” character. Glover admitted “losing her rag” and the report said the children were subject to Glover’s erratic and oppressive conduct.


    BORN: July 2, 1951

    CAREER: Was care assistant at Tanllwyfan, near Old Colwyn from 1974 to 1976. Left school at 16 to work for the National Coal Board for two years before becoming a warden for the Youth Hostels Association. He was also a barman and a care assistant for Wandsworth Borough Council.

    TRIBUNAL: Was jailed for eight years in 1986 after pleading guilty to two serious sexual assaults and three of gross indecency. The victims were boys aged between 14 and 16.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: North of England

    BORN: Unknown AGE: Unknown

    CAREER: Founder of the Bryn Alyn Community. A former hotelier, he set up the first of the seven care homes – Bryn Alyn Hall – with his wife-to-be. At its peak the community could hold 200 kids and had an annual turnover of more than pounds 2million.

    TRIBUNAL: In all, 28 male ex-residents came forward to allege they had been sexually abused. In 1995 he was convicted of six counts of indecent assault and was sentenced to six six year jail terms to run concurrently.

    LAST KNOWN WHEREABOUTS: Known to police

    BORN: November 22, 1928

    CAREER: Member of the Bryn Alyn Community staff who is now retired.

    TRIBUNAL: Complaints from three ex-residents who alleged they were sexually abused. He was convicted in 1976 by Talgarth magistrates of two indecent assaults and was fined pounds 40.


    BORN: September 29, 1948

    CAREER: Head teacher of the Bryn Alyn Community school in the mid 80s.

    TRIBUNAL: Could not be traced. In 1986 he was convicted of having unlawful sex with an 15-year-old female resident. He was jailed for six months.


    BORN: Unknown AGE: Unknown

    CAREER: Worked for 17 years at Bryn Alyn Hall, Gatewen Hall and Bryntirion Hall. Earlier he had been a self-employed building contractor. He ran a five-a-side football team which led to voluntary youth work and a prominent role at Ruabon Leisure Centre. He had no formal training in social work and was a former club bouncer.

    TRIBUNAL: Named by 19 complainants who allege he was a physical abuser. The report concludes he did use excessive force to restrain both boys and girls from time to time but one member of staff called him a strong disciplinarian but fair person.


    BORN: April 16, 1943

    CAREER: Appointed Deputy Principal of Ystrad Hall School in 1975. The Llangollen school was registered as an institution catering wholly or mainly for handicapped pupils aged 11 to 14 years. Some previous experience with residential care work.

    TRIBUNAL:Named as an alleged sex abuser by eight former residents. He was convicted in 1978 of three offences of indecent assault on two residents. Put on probation for 12 months with the condition of hospital treatment and was ordered to do 160 hours community service.


    BORN: December 11, 1933.

    CAREER: Was a self-employed farm worker with a small-holding at Gwalchmai, Anglesey. He also ran a mobile grocery business but described himself as a quarryman at his trial. He and his wife Evelyn were approved as foster parents in 1978 being described as “most impressive” by a senior social worker.

    TRIBUNAL: Was convicted of an assault occasioning actual bodily harm in 1993 after allegedly whipping his foster child. Acquitted of cruelty to the same child. Given a two year conditional discharge.


    BORN: October 30, 1958

    CAREER: Son of Norman Roberts. Occupation unknown.

    TRIBUNAL: Also given a two year conditional discharge for a common assault on the same foster child.


    BORN: November 09, 1945

    CAREER: Scrungham and his wife Maria moved from Old Colwyn to Bala in Gwynedd in 1982 and fostered a nine-year-old girl. Occupation unknown.

    TRIBUNAL: In 1993 he was convicted of two rapes and one indecent assault on the girl. Also convicted of aiding and abetting a boyfriend of the girl to have unlawful sexual intercourse with her. He got 10 years.


    BORN: October 01, 1928

    CAREER: Occupation unknown. TRIBUNAL: Co-defendant in a sex case with paedophile Reginald Cooke in 1980. Pleaded guilty to one serious sexual assault and one indecent assault. Jailed for three years.


    BORN: January 7, 1951

    CAREER: Employed for only two weeks at Bersham Hall in 1972. Later he was taken on as a care worker for more than a year by the Bryn Alyn Community in their children’s homes in Cheshire and Higford. He had also been an assistant warden at a probation hostel in Ruabon, near Wrexham, for six months.

    TRIBUNAL: Heard that Cooke was one of the leaders of a known paedophile ring in Wrexham. In 1980 he pleaded guilty to two serious sexual assaults, one of indecent assault and one of taking an indecent photograph. He was sentenced to five years. In 1987 he was jailed for a further seven years for sex offences on boys aged between 12 and 18.


    BORN: September 12, 1940

    CAREER: Owned the 15/20 Club in Rhyl for 20 years before selling it in 1980. Was never employed by social services but befriended a boy at Bryn Estyn.

    TRIBUNAL: Admitted he committed three offences of indecency against the unnamed boy while he was in care at the Wrexham home. Convicted in 1980 and sentenced to 18 months in jail.


%d bloggers like this: