North Wales Children's Home. Home of Abuse.

They were involved in a paedophile ring network that had spread the length of the British Isles : Includes – Sir Peter Morrison, LORD/MP Greville Janner, EX PM Ted Heath, Lord Leon Brittan, Sir Ian Horobin, MP/Lord Boothby -

It was systematic and organized – 650 children in 40 childrens homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years

A Public Tribunal heard damning evidence of how a number of children's homes supplied a paedophile ring over a 20 year period  ! Hundreds of children were subjected to physical and sexual abuse (rape), by those who were entrusted with their welfare. Policemen, church ministers, local authority executives, senior businessmen and politicians, have all been identified.

Sexual abuse against children was uncovered at the Bryn Estyn home, near Wrexham, North Wales. It was systematic and organized

As the police investigation continued, newspaper articles,beginning with the Independent on Sunday, linked a former police superintendent, Gordon Anglesea, to child sexual abuse. He successfully sued for libel, receiving damages of £375,000, in 1994. The tribunal heard evidence alleging that Mr Anglesea did commit serious sexual misconduct at Bryn Estyn, but were not persuaded that the libel jury's verdict was wrong.


MP Tom Watson has already suggested in the House of Commons that a powerful paedophile network may have operated in Britain, protected by its connections to Parliament and Downing Street. He has refused to publicly name the abuser

Rod Richards, a former Conservative MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, made the shocking allegation that he had seen evidence linking Sir Peter Morrison to the North Wales children's homes case, in which up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years.

Morrison with Baroness Thatcher in 1990

Mr Richards also linked a second leading Tory grandee – now dead – to the scandals at homes including Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn Hall, both near Wrexham. He said official documents had identified the pair as frequent, unexplained visitors to the care homes. 

Children in care in north Wales endured years of “appalling suffering”, the UK's largest child abuse investigation has revealed.The report condemns social workers, children's home staff, police and local councils and makes 72 recommendations to protect 4,000 children currently cared for by local authorities in Wales.

Individuals named in the report who were still working in childcare had been traced and risk-assessed, said Mr Murphy. Efforts continue to trace others who have left the child-care system.

The Waterhouse tribunal at Ewloe in north Wales heard evidence from more than 650 people who had been in care from 1974. The three-man panel sat for more than a year. It cost more than £12m and took almost two years for its report to be completed and published.

Much of the abuse took place at Bryn Estyn Children's Home in Wrexham, where paedophiles like Peter Howarth (pic below) – a former housemaster – sexually abused boys as young as 12.

‘Scum of the earth' – Howarth was jailed in 1994 for 10 years. He died in prison. But for one of his victims, Andrew Teague, the repercussions of Howarth's attacks are relived almost every day. “They are the scum of the earth,” he said. “They can paint it any way they like – psychiatrists, psychologists – they can say what they like about them, they are scum.”  Four staff at Bryn Estyn have been convicted of either sexual or physical abuse of children.

However, Bryn Estyn was not unique. Complaints were made to the tribunal about 40 homes throughout Gwynedd and Clwyd. Not all the alleged abuse was sexual. Much was physical – children being thumped, kicked and hit for minor misdemeanours. Some children did complain, but according to Chris Walby – a social services expert helping with another child abuse investigation in Merseyside – their word counted for little in an atmosphere where they were not listened to or believed.  He said people in power abused their positions.

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.

Bryn Alyn

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.

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.

Suspicious murders !

Another unresolved mystery surrounds a fire in a flat in Brighton which killed five people in April 1992. It broke out in the third-floor flat in Palmeira Avenue, Hove, during a Saturday-night party attended by about 20 people, drawn mostly from the town's gay community.

Several former Clwyd children's home residents are thought to have been among the guests: two who have been positively identified had been Bryn Alyn residents and knew John Allen very well – Adrian Johns and his brother Lee (also known as Lee Homberg).

Adrian Johns died and Lee Johns (found dead in 1995 after testifying in John Allen's trial) was badly injured in the blaze, which another party guest, Trevor Carrington, a formerairline steward, admitted starting as a prank. (He himself committed suicide shortly afterwards.) Rumours continue to circulate about the fire, although at the time a link with the Clwyd scandal was not made.

The ‘whole truth' for 12 dead

The children placed in residential homes in Clwyd, North Wales, in the 1970s and 1980s, were not, for the most part, delinquents, juvenile criminals, or uncontrollable. They were the innocent victims of domestic problems, sometimes four and five years old, who had been abused in their own families, or youngsters who had simply been abandoned.

What they needed was love and protection. But the world they went into, as described in the report, was no safe haven. It was a brutal, abusive regime.

“The history of allegations of serious abuse of children by staff was frankly appalling in its extent and persistence down the years,” says the report by three leading and independent child care specialists – which has so far not been published.

Most damming of all is the list of 12 young men who have died and whose deaths were linked to their lives in care.

Most of these deaths were not when the abuse was occurring, the report shows, but took place around the time of the investigation and trials of the men found guilty of abusing children in Clwyd.

The list reveals that nine of the 12 died after the police investigation and in some cases after men had been charged. Some of the young men who died had been involved in making statements or giving evidence.

The team says: “We are of the opinion that perhaps insufficient thought has been given to the psychological or psychiatric stress of appearing in court as a witness in high-profile cases.”

The stark list of those who have died appears on one page of the 300- page report and the inquiry team says that even this list “is not comprehensive'.

R1: Fell to his death from a railway bridge. Former resident of Bryn Alyn Home.

R2: May, 1978, committed suicide aged 16 by taking an overdose of pain killing tablets. Former resident of Bryn Alyn.

R3: March 1985, was found dead in a flat in which he was living in poverty, aged 21. Former resident of Little Acton Assessment centre.

R4: April 1992, died in a fire aged 32 in premises in which he lived in Sussex. The inquest verdict – unlawful killing. Former resident of Bryn Alyn.

R5: June 1992, found dead aged 18 in a bed-sitter. Cause of death, acute respiratory failure due to solvent abuse. Former resident of Bryn Alyn.

R6: January, 1994, committed suicide by hanging, aged 27.

R7: April, 1994, died aged 27 from alcohol abuse. Allegations that he had been the subject of a serious sexual offence. Former Bryn Estyn resident.

R8: July 1994, found dead in a car, aged 18. Former foster child in Clwyd where he allegedly suffered from maltreatment.

R9: November, 1994, committed suicide aged 16 by hanging.

R10: February, 1995, died from and apparent heroin overdose aged 37. Former resident of Bryn Alyn where it was alleged he had been sexually abused.

R11: February, 1995, hanged himself aged 31. Allegations of sexual abuse against care workers.

R12: May, 1995, found hanging aged 27. Allegations that he had been sexually abused by a senior care worker. Former resident of Bryn Estyn.

THE names of the “missing” 28 care workers in Britain's worst child abuse scandal

Some are among the most dangerous paedophiles involved in the scandal to rock North Wales. Others are still being checked out to see if they harmed kids or were wrongly accused. These are some of the 28 who local authorities are desperate to trace following the damning Lost In Care report by Sir Ronald Waterhouse into abuse at 40 carehomes in North Wales:

Paul Bicker Wilson , 49, residential care officer at Bryn Estyn. He was given a suspended sentence of three years and two months in 1994 at Knutsford Crown Court for assault and bullying.

Stephen Norris , 63, (pic above) former residential care officer at the Bryn Estyn home. He was sentenced to a total of seven years jail in 1993 for sex offences against boys. Norris was released after serving half the sentence.

November 1999 - Home-owner child abuse conviction - A former supervisor at two children's homes in north Wales has been jailed for five years for indecently assaulting boys in his care in the 1970s. Richard Leake , 58, (pictured below)  sexually assaulted boys in his care while working as a supervisor at Bersham Children's Home in Wrexham and later as principal at Ystrad Hall in Llangollen.

Joseph Dodd , 63, officer in charge at Ty'r Felin. He was investigated, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to take him to court. He later retired on grounds of ill-health. The report was satisified he did use excessive force on the children in his care. He was never been convicted of any offences.

Cyril Samuels – Penarth  -

A care worker at a South Wales children's home has been jailed for seven years for 15 sex attacks. Cardiff Crown Court heard father-of-three Cyril Samuels was arrested as part of the massive police investigation called Operation Goldfinch into abuse in children's home

Samuels was employed for five years at the Headlands National Children's Home in Penarth between 1969 and 1974. At least Six boys, aged between 10 and 15 were sexually abused. Samuels, of Penarth, was found guilty of a total of 15 charges – including four of indecent assault and 11 of serious sexual assaults.

Leslie Wilson , 48, sentenced to 15 months in prison for gross indecency and attempted Buggery in 1977.

Michael Taylor , 58. In September 1993 he had four cautions in relation to indecent assault.The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue to court.

Derek Brushett – Bryn-y-don  -  Brushett (pic below) was convicted in November 1999 of a catalogue of sexual and physical abuse on 17 boys, aged between 11 and 16, at Bryn-y-don approved school, Dinas Powys, near Cardiff, between 1974 and 1980.

In 1997 – A BOLTON man says he feels “devastated and let down” after watching the sex beast he claims abused him as a child being sentenced to 12 years in jail.  Noel Ryan , aged 66, admitted 14 charges of sex abuse on boys in his care at a residential special school in North Wales. At least 17 boys were buggered at Clwyd Hall School from 1970 to 1981 by a houseparent, Noel Ryan, who was jailed in 1997 for 12 years.

But the Bolton man who says he was abused after being referred to Clywd Hall in the 1970s where Ryan worked as a house parent said: “He was evil and should have got life.” Full conviction write-up here

David Gillison , 48. As with Jacqueline Thomas, he was convicted of sexual offences in 1986. He was a social worker not then employed in residential care.

Kenneth Scott , 48, sentenced to eight years in prison in 1986 for buggery and gross indecency.

John Allen  , 58,(pic below) founder of the Bryn Alyn community.  He was jailed for six years in 1995 for indecent assaults on boys in his care over an 11-year-period.  See John Allen working at a Premier Inn (November 2012)

Anthony Taylor  ,71, convicted in 1976 of two offences of indecent assault on boys and fined pounds 20 for each offence.

Deputy officer in charge of Little Acton Assessment Centre, near Wrexham

Worked at the same centre. Accused of assaulting girls.

Junior officer in charge at Bersham Hall, near Wrexham, 1972-3. He was
convicted of indecent assaults against young boys.

Teacher at Bryn Estyn. A weight lifter and body builder who was accused
of slapping youngsters.

Norman Roberts , 66, and son Ian Roberts , 42, were both convicted at Mold Crown Court in 1993 of horse-whipping a boy fostered by the family at the age of seven.They were both given conditional discharges and ordered to pay pounds 100 each in costs.

Malcolm Scrugham , 54, described by Sir Ronald Waterhouse as being among the “most serious offenders”. MALCOLM IAN SCRUGHAM, 54:
A foster parent. Sexually assaulted young girls in his care. Jailed for
ten years in 1993 for raping a girl of 11 and indecent assault on a boy. 2012 – Now living in nr Great Yarmouth 

Brian Ely – Bryn-y-Don/Forde Park  - A teacher jailed for sexually abusing boys at schools in Wales and Devon has begun an appeal against his conviction. Brian Ely, 71, was sentenced to 15 years at Exeter Crown Court in 2001 for 26 sex offences against boys dating back 40 years.

Arthur Stephens , 71. Co-defendant with Cook and pleaded guilty to buggery and indecent assault. Sentenced to three years.

Never employed by social services. Convicted in 1980 of three counts of
indecency against one boy in care at Bryn Estyn. Jailed for 18 months.

Warden at Ystrad Hall, Llangollen. Convicted in 1978 of three indecent assaults on two pupils at the school. He got probation for 12 month on condition of hospital treatment. Also given a sentence of 160 hours of community service.

A house father at Little Acton Assessment Centre, Wrexham. Suspended on
July 15, 1977 and convicted of indecent assault, gross indecency and
other offences. Jailed for 15 months.

A full-time residential care worker employed at Chevet Hey children's
home, Clwyd. Received a three-month suspended sentence for indecent
assault on a boy of 15. She was one of five people grouped together in the report who were convicted of sex offences against children in 1986 at the Chevet Hey home after an investigation which spanned 1981-89.

REGINALD GARETH COOKE (also known as Gary Cooke), 49:
Pleaded guilty in 1980, to two serious sex offences and one of taking an
indecent photo. Jailed for five years but released in November, 1981. Also named among the most serious offenders.

Co-defendant in the Cooke proceedings and jailed for three years.


Worked as a housemaster at Bryn Estyn between 1974 and
1977. In 1978 he became Officer in charge at Ty'r Felin. Physically
abused kids at both homes. Children were physically abused at Ty'r Felin local authority home in Gwynedd while Nefyn Dodd was officer-in-charge between 1978 and 1990. Gwynedd County Council promoted Dodd to a position of control over all the county's community homes.

Worked as a social worker with Clwyd County Council until 1987. Pleaded
guilty to two offences of gross indecency with a boy of 16.

Deputy Officer in charge of Cartrefle from 1980-1990. Resigned after
admitting a sexual relationship with an under-age boy.

Officer in charge of South Meadow Community Home. Reported to have
slapped a girl of 13 and spanked other kids with her shoes.

While deputy head of Bryn Alyn in 1986, he was convicted of underage sex
with a girl resident. PETER STEEN, age not known: Worked at Bryn Alyn
from 1976-1993. Alleged to have repeatedly punched and kicked boys.

At Gatewen Hall, the proprietors Roger Griffiths and his then wife,  Anthea Roberts , persistently sexually abused boys.Griffiths was jailed for eight years and Roberts for two. 

At Gwynfa residential unit, an NHS psychiatric hospital for children, ten former residents complained of sexual abuse. A former staff member was convicted in 1997 of raping a 16-year-old girl resident.

Febuary 2000 - Approved school teachers jailed for abuse

Two men who abused young boys when they worked in an approved school in Monmouthshire have been jailed for a total of 23 years. 

A judge at Newport Crown Court jailed 66-year-old Barrie Alden , the former deputy principal at the Ty Mawr School near Abergavenny for 15 years after being convicted of 10 offences against young boys. 

Ex-housemaster John Wright , 56, from Talgarth in Powys was sentenced to eight years after being found guilty of six counts.

July 2000 - A social worker who abused two boys at an Islington Council children's home in the 1970s was sentenced to four years' imprisonment earlier this week.

December 1997 - A former scoutmaster and youth worker, David Stanley ,(pic above) from Telford, has been jailed for 18 years for a series of sexual attacks on young boys in his care. The offences were committed while Stanley worked as a scoutmaster and then as a care assistant at a privately-run residential children's home in Shifnal, Shropshire. The home was part of the same company which owned the Bryn Alyn home in north Wales

Michael Taylor pleaded guilty at London's Snaresbrook crown court to seven counts of indecent assault at Gisburne House. When he left Gisburne House he became deputy superintendent of Bersham Hall children's home in North Wales where he repeatedly assaulted two 11-year-old boys in his care.

Taylor was arrested after the people he abused, now adults, went to the police. He was previously convicted of two indecent assaults in 1980. His name will be added to the sex offenders' register.

Few children complained and staff were strongly discouraged from voicing concerns. The worst “cult of silence” was at Bryn Estyn, where there was suspicion and gossip for many years about Howarth's “flat list”. He compiled a list of boys invited to his flat for the evening, who had to wear pyjamas with no underwear, and were then subjected to all manner of sexual assault. The principal, Matt Arnold , threatened staff with dismissal if they gave currency to the rumours.

There was isolated sexual abuse at two of Paul Hett's private children's homes, Dol Rhyd School and Ysgol Hengwrt. Five men on the staff abused a victim each. Roger Saint , a foster parent, was jailed for 6½ years in 1997 for indecent assaults on nine children. North Wales Police were at fault for telling social services in 1978 there was nothing detrimental about him; he had indecent assault convictions.

Children in some Gwynedd foster homes were sexually and physically abused. Malcolm Scrugham was jailed in 1993 for ten years for raping a foster child. A foster father and his son were convicted in 1993 of physical assaults.

Febuary 2000

Over the 15 years following the Taylor trial in 1975 nine other care workers were convicted and further allegations surfaced. Between 1978 and 1992 there were 20 police inquiries into allegations made by residents at a number of homes in both Clwyd and Gwynedd involvingclaims of rape, indecent assault and physical assault.

Homes investigated included Cartref Melys, Ty'r Felin, Y Gwyngyll, Hengwrt, Bersham Hall, Pentre Saeson, Tapley Avenue, Ysgol Treborth, Bryn Alyn, Cheviot Hey, Talfryn, Gatewen, and Park House.

Care workers convicted before 1991 included:

•  David Taylor (indecent assault at Bryn Tirion);

•  Leslie Wilson (indecent assault, gross indecency, Little Action assessment centre);

•  Bryn Davies (indecent assault, Llangollen school);

•  Ian Muir (unlawful sexual intercourse, Bryn Alyn);

•  David Gillison (indecent assault of a 16-year old at Cheviot Hey);

•  Jackie Thomas (indecent assault of Cheviot Hey teenager);

•  Stephen Norris (indecent assault, Cartrefle);

•  Frederick Rutter (rape and indecent assault, Bryn Estyn).

Between 1974 and 1996, there were 12 internal inquires by Clwyd Council involving children in its care homes and no fewer than seven different management structures for children's services within its social services department.

The following allegations formed the basis of the police investigation that began in 1991. More than one allegation of abuse were made at a series of homes:

•  Bersham Hall (41),

•  Berwyn Hall (seven),

•  Bryn Alyn (96),

•  Bryn Estyn (138),

•  Bryn Tirion (15),

•  Cartref Bontnewydd (four),

•  Cartref Melys (two),

•  Cartrefle (30),

•  Cherry Hill (two),

•  Cheviot Hey (34)

•  Clwyd Hall (four),

•  Dol Rhyd (two),

•  Gatewen (36),

•  Gwynfa (24),

•  Hengwrt (nine),

•  Park House (18),

•  Pentre Saeson (20),

•  Queens Park (13),

•  Rhiwlas (three),

•  South Meadows (13),

•  Tanllwyfan (13),

•  Ty Newydd (12),

•  Ty'r Felin (85),

•  Ucheldre (two),

•  Upper Downing (12),

•  Y Gwyngyll (18),

•  Ynys Fechan (four),

•  Ysgol Talfryn (19),

•  Ystrad Hall (39).

Children in care

It is usual within establishments like childrens homes were abuse has occurred that a system has developed and allowed to continue were the abuse is widespread and commonplace and being committed by more than one individual. In some cases those who are not abusers turn a blind eye to the abuse which leaves vulnerable children having no where to turn and no escape.

Residents live in an environment of fear of the next incident of abuse. Children may run away from these homes only to be returned by the Police upon discovery creating a feeling of hopelessness. On some occasions even if the child did disclose the abuse to external sources they were not believed. These systems can develop into establishments were even the residents turn to abusing other residents sometimes at the order of staff involved with the abuse.

The evidence shows that the widespread sexual abuse of children in care has been occurring for decades and those paedophiles involved, include some “high members” of UK society but their abuse has been largely ignored or hidden. WHY ? One simple answer – they were protected. They were involved in a paedophile ring that had spread the length of the British Isles. 

Hundreds of children were subjected to physical and sexual abuse, by those who were entrusted with their welfare. Policemen, church ministers, local authority executives, senior businessmen and politicians, have all been identified yet “let off the hook”.

Those named to the Waterhouse tribunal included:

A man who bears the same surname as a prominent Conservative supporter. Two witnesses have told the tribunal of a rich and powerful man who belonged to the alleged ring.

The son of an influential peer who admitted to police that he had been having sex with an under-age boy from one of the homes. Despite his admission, he was never prosecuted.

A powerful public official who has previously been cleared of abuse. Six witnesses have given separate accounts to the tribunal of his alleged rape of young boys. Another has reported him attending parties in Wrexham which were supplied with boys from a children's home.

Two social workers and two police officers, one of whom was accused of abuse on four separate occasions and exonerated each time, another of whom has since been jailed in another part of the country for gross indecency with a child.

More than a dozen other local men, including an executive with a local authority, a senior probation officer and a director of a major company.

All those named as members of the alleged ring have denied the charges, either in evidence to the tribunal or through their lawyers.