Policemen, social workers and prominent public figures have been accused of belonging to a paedophile ring which indulged in a relentless campaign of physical and sexual abuse in children’s homes in North Wales.
The names of the alleged members of the ring have been given by witnesses in public sessions of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal, but they have been suppressed by the tribunal’s chairman, Sir Ronald Waterhouse QC, who has threatened the media with High Court proceedings if they print them.
The Guardian today publishes for the first time detailed evidence about the alleged ring which is said to have been based in Wrexham, in North Wales, and to have infiltrated local children’s homes over a 20-year period. Witnesses claim that members of the ring used their connections with police and social services to conceal their activities. All of the accused have denied the allegations. Those who have been named to the tribunal include:
Lord A was a powerful man: he had a considerable private income; he was a senior freemason, a respected patron of the arts and a champion of good causes; he became a familiar figure in the corridors of power both in the City of London, where he sat on the board of one of the largest companies in Britain, and in the political world, where he became an influential figure in regional politics. His son, however, was a very different creature.
His son drifted into the low life of Wrexham, in North Wales, where he made his home. He drank, he mixed with a group of people who were in and out of prison and, most of all, he hung around the red-brick public toilets by the bus station in King Street. According to evidence which has been given behind a screen of anonymity at the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal, Lord A’s son was a paedophile.
In July 1979, Lord A’s son, then aged 25, had an alarming experience. He woke up in a room in the Crest Hotel in Wrexham to discover that all of his clothes and possessions had been stolen – by a young boy with whom he had been having sex that night. This boy, who was then two years below the age of consent and was supposed to be in the care of the local authority, has now told the tribunal that Lord A’s son used him for sex “on numerous occasions”.
Lord A’s son had no doubt at all about how to handle this theft. He went to the police and not only named the treacherous boy but explained quite openly why it was that they were sharing a room. A contemporary note made by the boy’s social worker records that the police were aware of allegations of “homosexual activities” between the boy and Lord A’s son. The police investigated. The outcome was clear: the boy was convicted of theft and sent to a detention centre for three months; Lord A’s son was never charged with any offence at all.
Under normal circumstances, Lord A and his son would both by now have been identified in the press as their names surfaced in the proceedings of the tribunal, which has been holding open sessions for eight months. The public would have joined the tribunal in making a judgement about whether Lord A’s son escaped prosecution simply because there was insufficient evidence (he later told police that his claim to have had sex with the boy must have been “a figment of the imagination”) or whether Lord A’s son was right to boast, as one convicted paedophile told the tribunal, that his influential father could intervene to protect them.
See on www.nickdavies.net
- Nick Davies – Secrecy imposed on the exposure of alleged child abuse – news and feature (towardchange.wordpress.com)
- Background on Newsnight’s report on Child Abuse in North Wales (thenmnetwork.wordpress.com)
- Victim seeks abuse investigation (bbc.co.uk)
- BBC’s Newsnight airs claims of child abuse against ‘leading Tory politician’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- What did Hague know? Former Minister says Thatcher aide was paedophile who preyed on boys’ home (21stcenturywire.com)
- Former Conservative official rejects child abuse claims (guardian.co.uk)
- Who did it? (A child abuse mystery) (cannonfire.blogspot.com)