nYesterday’s post ‘A Stalker’s Network’ detailed links between senior police officers in Greater Manchester and a whole network of vey powerful legal professionals and politicians – and how some people in north Wales involved with wrongdoing and malpractice had connections with the north west of England. Previous posts have detailed links between professional people in the West Midlands and north Wales as well as between ‘experts’ in London and north Wales (see posts ‘Enter Professor Bluglass CBE…’, ‘Amber Rudd, The Miners’ Strike And A Memory Jogged’ and ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’) which were used to conceal criminal activity in the mental health services in north Wales. When researching a subject like this, one is always tempted to think, when one notices a new connection, ‘oh that’s got to be a coincidence’. Yet documents that I have acquired relating to my own case show clearly that a lot of things that I had dismissed as coincidences – sometimes very unfortunate coincidences – were not. When we are talking about children in care being molested by paedophile rings with links to organised crime and the mental health services being utilised to conceal it all, there are going to be a lot of people, some in high places, with an awful lot to lose if anyone reveals what is happening. Integral to the business of professions such as social work, medicine and psychology are ‘networking’, ‘sharing practice’ and ‘team building’. These are not people whose days are spent in archives working alone. People working in social work and health care link up with others in the same fields across the UK (and nowadays internationally), they attend seminars, training events and conferences where they meet a whole variety of colleagues. Should something really grim be going on which needs the lid keeping on it, professional networks become very useful. It is fairly easy to map professionals’ networks via their work, but it is much more difficult to discover their social networks, which will be just as important. If one lives on the doorstep, one gets wind of it. I lived in north west Wales long enough to know the favoured hang-outs of different social and professional groups, but it’s only by living locally that one accumulates that sort of knowledge. In other cases one simply has to just wonder. My post ‘The Waterhouse Tribunal – Who Was Involved And What Happened To Them Subsequently?’ mentions that one of the ‘experts’ commissioned to ‘advise’ on the problems of child abuse in north Wales, Adrianne Jones, was the former Director of the City of Birmingham Social Services, which had it’s own serious problems. I mentioned that Adrianne Jones subsequently retired to Wales and I wondered whether she had links to Wales at the time when she was acting as an ‘independent’ expert. At one point after retirement Adrianne Jones was using an Abergavenny address. There were allegations of abuse of children at facilities in Abergavenny – and the abusers there had direct links to abusers in north Wales…
One reason why there are so many links between north Wales and other areas of the UK with respect to child care is that from the late 60s, north Wales developed into essentially a regional reception centre for children in care. This seems to have spearheaded by John Allen, who in 1968 founded the Bryn Alyn Community in north east Wales. John Allen was eventually convicted and imprisoned for very serious offences against children – I think that he is still in prison – and is frequently named as one of the most vicious of the paedophiles that operated in north Wales. Allen was alleged to have been involved with rather more than he was ever convicted of. Victims of his maintained that he was literally running an empire based on gay prostitution and porn and a number of the people found dead who had been in care in north Wales had connections to Allen. Allen was said to have told some of the people who died in the arson attack in Brighton in 1992 (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’) that he’d meet him at that location and it was the records of the children who had lived at Bryn Alyn that went up in flames in the warehouse fire that was deemed ‘not suspicious’ during the Waterhouse Inquiry. Bryn Alyn was big business. Children from 42 local authorities from across the UK were sent there from 1968 until 1990. So there are going to be a lot of people who would rather that their links with John Allen remain undiscovered and a lot of people with a vested interest in ensuring that Allen does not end up being named in connection with even more serious crimes than those for which he was imprisoned. John Allen ran Bryn Alyn as a private business, but it was well-connected with the statutory sector. Staff moved between Bryn Alyn and other children’s homes, as did the children themselves and of course it was Gov’t funded local authorities who placed children at Bryn Alyn. Bryn Alyn was not the only privately run children’s facility in north Wales – Paul Hett owned and ran several such establishments and there were allegations of abuse at these (please see post ‘More On Those Prisons For Folk Who Dared Complain’). So north Wales, throughout the 70s and 80s, seemed to be acting as a huge centre for the warehousing of children in care. That, combined with professionals’ networking activities, will have constituted a nationwide network – unfortunately one pervaded by criminal activity.
There are indications that this had been acknowledged years ago. In Jan 1984, James Prior, the Secretary of State for N Ireland, in response to the allegations of a paedophile ring operating at the Kincora Boys Home in Belfast, set up a Public Inquiry, ‘The Committee of Inquiry Into Children’s Homes and Hostels’, led by Judge William Hughes. Hughes found some very worrying things – although like Waterhouse, he managed to find no evidence that there had been the involvement of MI5 and state collusion at the highest levels. He submitted his report in December 1985 and observed that ‘The events giving rise to this inquiry…can no longer be regarded as exceptional. They must perhaps be recognised as earlier symptoms of a general malaise permeating the United Kingdom’. In 1991, after stories of terrible events occurring in children’s homes in north Wales just wouldn’t go away, after investigating, journalist Dean Nelson, in one of his reports for the London-based press wrote ‘It’s frightening because it’s a microcosm of what is going on around the country’. I do wonder if it was particularly bad in north Wales because there was John Allen’s empire located in the region and so many children in care from right across the UK were passing through Clwyd and Gwynedd homes – and of course there was dear old Dafydd and his colleagues on the scene to deal with dissenters. There is no doubt that by the 1980s serious abuse of ‘looked after children’ was rife and a network of professional people from a variety of sectors and disciplines stretching across the UK was being used to conceal it.
Regarding the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal which no-one ever seemed to get to the bottom of. I mentioned in ‘A Stalker’s Network’ that I only ever heard one first hand tale relating to it all and that was from someone who told me that her father had been a child psychiatrist in the area and had sexually molested both her and her sister throughout their childhood. She also claimed that a number of his colleagues joined him in this. This person – and her sister – had at some point in the past contacted one of the paediatricians involved in the Cleveland Scandal, Dr Marietta Higgs, and spoke very highly of her. (Although as I have found out, some people can very effectively hide their own roles in dirty deeds if they’ve got good social skills and are competent actors.) The Cleveland Scandal occurred between February and July in 1987. I mentioned yesterday that was exactly when Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were raising concerns with a number of people regarding what was happening in the social services and mental health services in north Wales. In fact in January 1987, Alison Taylor, the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the abuse in north Wales, had told Margaret Thatcher IN PERSON that she had seen children in care in north Wales being abused. (Alison was suspended from her job by Gwynedd County Council in the same month.) It was clear by this time that Alison was not going to be silenced. Neither was Mary – she’d got as far as the Master of the Rolls. I was busy as well – and I have in my possession a nasty little letter written by one of the crooks employed as an administrator by Gwynedd Health Authority, Bernard Rhodes, informing his colleagues that he thought that I was going to be a problem for a very long time and ‘the less said to this young lady the better’.
I have long since suspected that events at Cleveland were a distraction of some sort, but I presumed that they were a distraction relating to abuse that was happening up there. In the same way that the Satanic Panics very effectively muddied the waters with regard to child abuse investigations, I can imagine that hundreds of children being identified as having been sexually abused by their parents and then taken into care, overwhelming the system and causing a breakdown of relationships between everyone involved and a subsequent political row, would provide an excellent smokescreen in the event of people asking difficult questions about the conduct of local authorities.
The scale of Cleveland suggests that someone somewhere was very worried about something indeed. Like perhaps a social worker personally telling a Prime Minister that she had witnessed child abuse in a region where it was later admitted that one of the aides of that Prime Minister who was known to be a paedophile – Sir Peter Morrison – was visiting children’s homes in that region? By the time that Alison Taylor approached Thatcher, Thatcher did know that there was a problem regarding the sexual behaviour of some political figures – including those in her own party – and those working with them. In 1986 she appointed Morrison as Deputy Chairman of the Party – her former bodyguard maintains that he told her that Morrison was alleged to be involved in sex parties with under-aged boys but Thatcher promoted him nonetheless. Furthermore, she knew by then that Sir Peter Hayman had some rather worrying tendencies. Hayman was a British diplomat and had held positions in the Ministry of Defence and NATO. He was also an operative with MI6 and some accounts maintain that he was actually the Deputy Director of MI6. In 1978 Hayman left a package of what has been described as ‘paedophilia related correspondence’ on a London bus. There was a police investigation but no charges were brought against him, although he was warned about sending obscene material through the post.
In 1981 Conservative MP for Huddersfield West Geoffrey Dickens, using Parliamentary privilege, named Hayman as a paedophile in the House and demanded to know why he hadn’t been charged. This was the beginning of a one man campaign by Geoffrey Dickens against a number of people in Westminster whom he claimed were abusing children. Dickens was ridiculed at the time, laughed out of court by the Tories but found no allies among other parties either, supposedly because of his hang ’em flog ’em right wing views. Or of course it may have been because the whole bloody lot of them were terrified that he was going to start naming people. Sir Michael Havers, the Attorney General at the time, defended the decision that he made jointly with the DPP, Sir Thomas Hetherington, not to prosecute Hayman. In April 1981, Havers admitted that Hayman had been a member of PIE, but had not been prosecuted (some other leading lights in PIE were) because he was not a member of the Executive Committee. Michael Havers was the brother of Lord Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the judge who oversaw the Inquiry into Cleveland. Dickens didn’t go away. He periodically popped up threatening to name more child abusers and in 1984 handed a dossier to Leon Brittan, the Home Secretary, containing details of child molesters with connections to Westminster. Not an awful lot happened considering the sort of information that Dickens had handed over and of course it has now been revealed that the dossier has been ‘lost’, along with a number of other files in the possession of the Home Office relating to what is now referred to as the Westminster Paedophile Ring. Now something happened to Hayman in 1984 but there seems to have been an attempt by someone to airbrush whatever it was out of history. Hayman was convicted of a sex offence of some sort. Some sources maintain that Hayman was convicted of an offence of gross indecency in a public bog. Yet in the obituary of Geoffrey Dickens that the Independent published in May 1995 it states that in 1984 Hayman was sent to prison for ‘paedophilic activities’ and that this had been a moment of joy for Geoffrey Dickens after being mocked by so many for so long. Interestingly enough, poor old Dickens remained very marginalised even after this – he was never made a Minister although his political views chimed well with many in the Tory party at the time and he was dismissed by everyone as a buffoon. He was written out of history until the recent interest in the possible existence of the Westminster Paedophile Ring. In November 1985, Dickens spoke of the threats and harassment that he’d received after naming Hayman. He had received threatening telephone calls and had been burgled twice. He also discovered that his name had been passed to a hitman. He maintained that big money and high profile people were involved. Again, he was laughed at, but he was of course quite right and the tentacles of that lot stretched into north Wales. People close to Geoffrey Dickens say that he remained baffled until the end of his life as to why he never received the acknowledgement of his abilities that he felt that he deserved.
If he was still alive I could enlighten him. It’s because they are absolute bastards, there’s a lot of them, they’re not very bright or able themselves and they have crept into their positions by finding out about this, making it known that they know but they will keep quiet if they are rewarded. North Wales is absolutely crawling with them, in social work, in medicine, in psychology, in academia and you can trace their ‘rise’ to their roles in concealing the abuses in the health and social care sector, which were a direct result of that paedophile ring. Of course above the bottom feeders of north Wales, there are layers and layers of others, all also doing very nicely for themselves. I used to watch bright new arrivals to the area look on mystified as people who were so obviously complete fuckwits enjoyed rapid promotion in the universities, in the County Councils, in the Social Services, in the NHS and that was nearly always why it was – and from the research that I’ve done it’s also the reason why we have so many lacklustre politicians as well. I have named many of those lacklustre politicians in previous posts, but there is one who was under my radar until this morning, when I heard him on the ‘Today’ programme – Nigel Evans, who was the Conservative MP for Ribble Valley but who has stood as an Independent ever since he was charged with – and acquitted of – sexual offences in 2013. I have just discovered that Evans was PPS to William Hague when Hague was Secretary of State for Wales. So Evans will have been the gofer where the Waterhouse Inquiry was concerned then…
There have been child abuse scandals in the north east of England as well as in other regions. One has involved the abuse of children detained at the Aycliffe Centre for Children in Durham. I remember reading a book whilst I was doing teacher training in 2000, written by a man who was the head of an establishment for ‘disturbed young people’ in the north east and I think that it must have been the Aycliffe Centre. The book was an old one, written back in the 80s and I noticed that this man listed various ‘symptoms’ to demonstrate just how mad the youngsters in his care were. Every ‘symptom’ detailed was one that is now associated with the aftermath of sexual abuse. If this book was indeed written by someone who ran the Aycliffe Centre, the young people will of course have been behaving like this at least partly because of what the staff there were doing to them. The book contained many references to this man’s expertise in dealing with young people who were inexplicably crazy. One former member of staff from the Aycliffe Centre, Martyn Locklin, was imprisoned for 15 years for a string of sexual offences against teenaged boys – Locklin had been a Labour Party activist in Sedgefield, Blair’s former constituency. A spokesman for Blair stressed that Blair had no knowledge of this man. Blair did however have knowledge of Margaret Hodge, Tessa Jowell and a few others (please see post ‘The London Connection’).
There were and are a number of people in north Wales who had previously worked in the north east of England. Peter Howarth who worked at Bryn Estyn and was jailed for sexually abusing boys in his care, previously worked at Axwell Park Approved School in Gateshead between 1966-73. He worked there whilst Matt Arnold was the headmaster. Matt Arnold secured a position as head of Bryn Estyn – and took Howarth with him when he moved.
There are also two people who have been leading lights in the mental health services in north Wales who previously worked in the north east. Dr Neil Davies, a consultant at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and before that the North Wales Hospital, who, my documents reveal, colluded with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones in illegally detaining me, previously worked as a psychiatrist in Newcastle. Dr Bob Woods, Professor of Old Age Psychology at Bangor University, trained as a clinical psychologist at Newcastle and worked there for a number of years. Bob Woods also worked at the Institute of Psychiatry, where the dishonest Dr Patrick Gallwey held seminars to show the rest of them how it was done. For many years now Bob Woods has specialised in dementia and Alzheimers (although I’m not quite sure how Bob Woods retains any credibility in this field; he proudly advertises his association with the Betsi and Tawel Fan was their idea of dementia care, one of the biggest health care scandals in the UK and the event that led the Betsi into special measures.) But Bob Woods was for a long time involved with the clinical psychology training in north Wales in Bangor University’s School of Psychology. I’m not sure when Bob Woods first came to Bangor, but I’m fairly sure that he arrived before the North Wales Hospital closed down. He will have been well aware of how the local mental health professionals conducted themselves. Furthermore, before the appallingly abusive Prestwood People Trafficking Ltd (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’) imploded, they had plans to provide a ‘service’ for people with very early onset and rare forms of dementia. What a dream that would have been for Prestwood – the residents wouldn’t be able to even remember who’d done what to them and when, that would have stopped all the complaints from the ‘service users’. At one point Bob Woods seemed to be going into business with them – I found a powerpoint presentation by Bob Woods in conjunction with Prestwood, boasting of their expertise and the new service. It disappeared from the internet not long afterwards and I wondered if perhaps the abuse and malpractice at Prestwood had been too much even for Bob Woods and he therefore dissociated himself from them.
What if a distraction had been needed as Geoffrey Dickens passed around terrifying dossiers and then went public on threats and burglaries, as Mary Wynch convinced the Master of the Rolls that something terrible was happening in north Wales, as I started writing and raising concerns and then as Alison Taylor cornered Thatcher herself? The location of the distraction could never be the actual hot spot of the abuse in north Wales and it would be pretty foolish to ensure that it blew up in somewhere like Islington or Lambeth where noises were also being made about the abuse of children in care, sometimes it was alleged by people connected to Gov’t – if people asked questions there, a few names might actually be revealed. The distraction would though need to be in a region where the professionals had been corrupted and would therefore play ball. Of course central to the way in which the children’s services and mental health services deflected allegations of abuse away from the people who were actually doing it if they needed to be protected was to maintain that the people making complaint were either psychotic – or had been abused but by someone else. Often a relative – who from what I saw in north Wales could then be blamed and if necessary stitched up. At the same time psychoanalytic explanations can be conjured up as to why the victim might have identified the wrong person – it’s all a matter of transference of course with a few other concepts thrown in if the person on the receiving end doesn’t swallow that. It was no coincidence that it was in the 80s that ‘seminars’ and ‘training’ for ‘professionals’ regarding sexual abuse started burgeoning. This training was often incredibly simplistic and in the case of the Satantic Panic had been snowballed by one woman (based in north Wales no less) with some rather eccentric beliefs who then claimed an evidence base that did not exist and ‘trained’ others across the UK in how to spot signs of Satanic abuse. Meanwhile Dafydd Alun Jones and Lucille Hughes carried on with business as usual and kids in care continued to be abused. With regard to Cleveland, it seems that Dr Marietta Higgs had been on some ‘training’ and had been taught to look out for a ‘symptom’ that was certainly considered flaky at the time and has now been completely discredited. It was the social services who were then turning up on her doorstep with children whom they alleged had been abused who asked Marietta to examine the children for ‘symptoms’. Marietta Higgs was a paediatrician. She may not actually have had that much knowledge or experience of child abuse and she probably didn’t know that there was a UK-wide problem of children being abused in local authority care and that the people doing it and concealing it were all linked up. So Marietta Higgs may have been a complete stooge and genuinely have believed that all these kids had been anally raped – after all, she thought that she’d been trained and she’ll have been told what a big problem sexual abuse was. And she was a Top Doctor – she won’t have been used to being questioned and will have been used to fighting her own corner when challenged. She may well not have been in on the distraction at all. But I bet the social services were.
During my adventures in north Wales and elsewhere – and certainly after reading all the documents now in my possession – I have realised that when people like me rumbled the likes of Dafydd, the technique used to convince us that complaints would be properly investigated and changes in practice would happen was to use Clean Skins to reassure us ie. people who haven’t yet been caught and are thought to be of sound reputation, as in terrorist methodology. Sir Ronald Waterhouse seemed to have relied on the word of a very obvious Clean Skin at one point in his whitewash. He consistently ignored evidence that something was terribly wrong, such as children needing hospital treatment for injuries, the existence of forged letters pledging support for people accused of abuse purporting to be from the people whom they had abused, witnesses who were keen to give live evidence but became so distressed whilst recounting what had happened to them that Waterhouse just had to discount their evidence and witnesses who named people who had abused them but couldn’t be believed either because no other member of staff could remember a person of that name working there and records didn’t show of their existence either (just like how all records relating to Nigel Stennet-Cox disappeared from the North Wales Hospital when I tried to trace him – ohh, no, no-one of that name has ever worked here – which is why I now have a copy of a memo from an administrator at the North Wales Hospital suggesting that Stennet-Cox should be ordered not to speak to me…). Ronnie even managed to comment on the ‘good character’ of someone who had received a suspended prison sentence for child abuse, on the grounds that he hadn’t been caught doing it again since. But old Ronnie really came into his own when he took evidence relating to Bryn Estyn. Bryn Estyn was the worst home of the lot, it was dreadful, serious physical violence and sexual abuse was routine and at least four members of staff who worked there ended up serving prison sentences for physically and sexually assaulting the boys at Bryn Estyn. (There are also allegations that Jimmy Savile made one of his celebrity visits to Bryn Estyn.) It was acknowledged even by Ronnie that all was not well at Bryn Estyn, that unsuitable people were employed and that recruiting was done via of all places the local Rugby Club. Some witnesses made allegations that a female member of staff, Margaret Elizabeth Evans or ‘Liz’, had physically assaulted them, one witness stating that she’d kneed him between the legs. Ronnie believed that her knee didn’t make contact with the boy’s body (no-one managed to explain why her knee was in danger of making contact with a teenaged boy’s groin in the first place). Further allegations from former residents of Bryn Estyn were made – for example that Liz had spat at children, had slapped them across the face, had witnessed violent assaults carried out by staff members who were later convicted – and similar lame explanations from Liz followed. Ronnie was able to conclude that Liz was ‘a sympathetic and caring member of staff’. This sympathetic and caring member of staff also provided glowing testimonials to Ronnie regarding the abilities of her violent, sexually abusive colleagues. By the time that Ronnie was interviewing her, Liz was a senior social worker in Flintshire which was probably why he had to conclude that Liz was not a lying thug, although she was described as being part of the Rugby Club ‘set’ along with the thugs who were beating those boys up and molesting them and she worked in the same residential institution where the abuse happened daily. Liz is probably a Gov’t Inspector of Social Services or a Chief Executive of a children’s charity now.
One such Clean Skin in the north Wales mental health services was Dr Neil Davies – he who had connections to the north east of England. Neil Davies knew about Mary Wynch’s case, he knew about me and he’ll have known about Alison Taylor. Professor Bob Woods is ever so nice as well, everyone knows that, he’s even a lay preacher. Having worked in the region, I wonder if either of them can shed any light on what went on in Cleveland, because Elizabeth Butler-Sloss never did.
My post ‘A Stalker’s Network’ concerned the connections of John Stalker, the former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, who was removed from an investigation in N Ireland. I think that something that was going on in N Ireland played quite a key role in many of the topics covered by this blog and I’ll be blogging more about it soon.