It’s A Piece Of Cake…

Recently I listened to an interview on the ‘Today’ programme with a very angry Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, daughter of the late Lord Greville Janner. Laura was fuming over what she alleged was the smearing of her late father, a Labour politician, whom she described as ‘great and good’. Janner of course has been the centre of a number of allegations that he sexually abused children in Leicestershire and was linked with Frank Beck, a Leicestershire social worker who in 1991 was imprisoned for abusing children in care. Janner and his other daughter Marion, as well as Marion’s ’emotional support dog’ who has also starred on Radio 4, featured in my previous post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves…’. Although Laura robustly defended her father maintaining that he was an innocent man targeted by malicious liars, she failed to mention that the reasons why her father wasn’t prosecuted for sexually molesting children were the serial failures of the CPS. Laura maintained that the allegations against Janner caused a deterioration in his Alzheimers and his doctor had confirmed that. Before Janner died there was of course going to be a ‘trial of the facts’ in his case because medical evidence had deemed him unfit to stand trial. Some of that medical evidence was contested in Court. Although Laura fumed away, she also displayed a triumphalist note, stating that her father’s accusers had now dropped their civil cases against his estate. That Laura is just as likely to be down to the fact that your brother is a barrister who made an awful lot of noise about challenging your father’s accusers, than to your father’s accusers being a bunch of liars. Laura is now fighting to have all references to the allegations against her father erased from the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse and she may well be successful, as that Inquiry is falling apart anyway. During her interview Laura expressed some very interesting ideas about the ease of securing a conviction against someone and/or suing them for historical child abuse. According to Laura it’s a pushover – one just makes serious unfounded allegations, one doesn’t even have to appear in Court and hey presto, job done. An innocent peer convicted! She of course made reference to ‘compensation culture’ and assured the listeners that there are lawyers throughout the nation encouraging such claims. I’ve got news for Laura – for most of my adult life I lived in north Wales, the region which saw the worst child abuse scandal in the UK and I never once saw a lawyer begging people to come forward with allegations of abuse. What I did witness though was some of the former residents of the homes where abuse had happened unlawfully detained and discredited by the mental health services, denied care for their very serious distress, repeatedly arrested for ludicrous ‘offences’ and smeared and harassed by the welfare services. A number of people among that group known to me are dead, as are even more people not personally known to me. Some of them were found dead in very suspicious circumstances. The managers of the ‘services’ hosting this abuse were never prosecuted and did not even lose their jobs. Neither did the scores of public servants who knew what was happening but failed to act. Most of the politicians charged with ultimately overseeing those public servants ended up in the House of Lords and may very well have been mates with Greville himself. The one politician whom it is acknowledged was having sex with underage boys and visiting children’s homes in north Wales, Peter Morrison MP, ended up as Sir Peter Morrison and obtained roles as Margaret Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. The children who were abused in those homes, if they managed to stay alive and out of prison, usually ended up living in not very salubrious accommodation on low incomes. They certainly led very different lives to Laura, who went to Cambridge University and is now a regular on the BBC, which gives her a voice denied to people who have been abused whilst in ‘care’. Laura is now writing a book about ‘resilience’ – I wonder who is more resilient, the Cambridge educated daughter of a member of the House of Lords, or someone who spent their childhood being molested by those paid to care for them, denied mental health care for the distress that this caused and was then kicked out into the world at 16 or 17 into substandard accommodation to live on benefits. Now Laura, who do you think has come out of all of this smiling then? Oh and it’s highly unlikely that the kids growing up in care happen to have a barrister in the family to fight their corner either.

The enormities of Laura’s fantasies were impressed upon me in the hours after she gave that interview, when I read the Jillings Report in detail. I have mentioned the Jillings Report previously – it was the first external investigation into child abuse in children’s homes managed by Clwyd County Council and covered the period 1974-1995. The findings of the Report were so damning that the Council’s insurers, Municipal Mutual, on the advice of their lawyers, Browne Jacobson, ordered it never to be made public on the grounds that what had happened was indefensible and everyone involved would be at risk of being sued to such an extent that they would be personally bankrupted. Limited extracts from the Report were made available to a small number of people in 1996 and nearly all copies of the Report were pulped. However, years later, in the wake of constant allegations that the subsequent Waterhouse Report had been a cover-up and that public figures had been involved in a paedophile ring operating in children’s homes in north Wales, someone managed to locate a copy of the Report and it was eventually released, although very heavily redacted, in 2013. Lest Laura Janner-Klauser has actually convinced anyone that it’s a piece of cake for people who have once been in care to make themselves heard when they make allegations that they were sexually abused, I will provide a review of the Jillings Report here – of course I only have a copy of the redacted version, which removed the names of the people most culpable. The version is very heavily redacted at that, pages and pages are blacked out. Nonetheless, what remains is very incriminating indeed.

The Jillings Report was commissioned by Clwyd County Council after a number of their staff had been imprisoned for serious sexual assaults on children in care and it was realised that twelve young people who were former residents of children’s homes in Clwyd had been found dead. The London-based media had started to take an interest in what was happening and allegations of a paedophile ring involving senior public figures were being made. Clwyd County Council could no longer keep a lid on it all, so they commissioned an independent panel led by John Jillings, the former Director of Derbyshire Social Services, to investigate. The other members of the panel consisted of Gerrilyn Smith, a clinical psychologist with much experience in working with survivors of child sexual abuse and Professor Jane Tunstill, a social work academic who had been employed by the University of East Anglia and was then appointed to a Chair at Keele. The panel carried out their investigation between March 1994 and December 1995 – their report was completed in February 1996.

The panel were constrained from the outset. Municipal Mutual refused to allow them to issue a public notice in advance of their investigation lest too many witnesses turned up. The newly appointed Chief Constable of the North Wales Police, Michael Argent, refused to co-operate with them and the police withheld 130 boxes of evidence. The non-co-operation of the police was seen to be significant because there were constant allegations that not only had the police known about the scale of the abuse and failed to act but that some officers themselves had been involved. Gordon Anglesea, a senior officer with the North Wales Police, had famously won a libel case against Private Eye and the Independent in December 1994, after they accused him of abusing children in care. The man who gave evidence that Anglesea had abused him, Mark Humphreys, was found dead on 2 February 1995, after the trial. Anglesea was eventually convicted of child abuse and imprisoned last year, but died a few months after beginning his sentence. Some staff representing other organisations and former staff of Clwyd refused to meet the Jillings panel. The documentation that they received from Clwyd Social Services was incomplete, muddled and frequently unsigned and undated. The panel were obstructed to such a degree that they considered resigning, but persevered because they knew that due to the forthcoming local government re-organisation Clwyd County Council would cease to exist beyond March 1996 and there may well have been no further possibility of an investigation. What they did not know was that Municipal Mutual were going to suppress their report anyway. Municipal Mutual did try and place a number of other constraints upon the panel from the outset, but they fought back against this.

The problems in Clwyd had been attributed to Clwyd providing large residential care facilities that were difficult to manage, that took children from within the county as well as from across Wales and England. There were very serious problems at Bryn Estyn, a former Home Office run approved school in Wrexham, where members of staff had been imprisoned for child abuse. It was said that staff existed who used ‘old methods’ of discipline and ‘found it difficult to adapt to new Department of Health regulations’. Translated this meant that some staff violently assaulted children, punching them in the face, stomach and groin, ordering other older or bigger/tougher children to assault them, ordering children to urinate and defaecate on each other or forcing them to carry out arduous tasks. As well as raping them, sodomising them, groping them and forcing them to perform oral sex with staff. Even if the ‘old fashioned’ staff hadn’t been doing all this, by the 1990s it was accepted that aggregating deprived and troubled young people into large residential establishments, often located in remote rural areas, was inappropriate. Furthermore in many of the homes sexual abuse between the children was endemic, as many of them were victims who had evolved into perpetrators. There were no programmes in existence in Clwyd to address sexual offending by juveniles.

There had been numerous convictions of child care workers in Clwyd. William Mars-Jones had presided over the trial of Jackie Thomas in 1986 (she was convicted of indecent assault on a boy in care) – when in Jan 1987 David Gillison, a former member of staff at Bryn Estyn, was convicted of gross indecency, Mars-Jones requested an inquiry by Clwyd County Council, because it was noted that Thomas and Gillison were linked. Frederick Rutter had worked at Bryn Estyn between 1982 and 1983 and afterwards at other establishments managed by Clwyd Social Services, as well as at the privately owned Bryn Alyn Community (whose owner John Allen was also imprisoned for the sexual abuse of children in care). In 1988 Frederick Rutter was appointed as the warden at Pen-y-Llan hostel, managed by the Clwyd and Alyn Housing Association. In July 1991 he was convicted of rape and indecent assault on young women. It came to light that not only had he been given a reference to obtain the job at the Housing Association despite concerns about him and that there were ‘irregularities’ in that reference, but he had formerly been a probationary police officer but had chosen to resign at the end of his probationary period rather than be dismissed.

On 17 July 1991 a letter from Roger Davies in his capacity as Clwyd County Secretary and Solicitor was sent to the Chief Constable of North Wales Police – I think at the time that would have been David Owen – expressing deep concern at the abuse that had taken place and raising the possibility that a paedophile ring was in operation. An investigation was undertaken by a specially established police team, led by Detective Superintendent Ackerly, which lasted over three years. In March 1992, 17 people were arrested and detained for questioning. Jillings states that former social services staff were charged with physical and sexual offences regarding Bryn Estyn. The names Stephen Norris, Peter Howarth and Paul Bicker Wilson are given, but the fourth name is redacted – however other information available suggests that it was probably David Birch (who was later acquitted of offences against children). Although there was also very serious concern concerning the Bryn Alyn Community and the activities of its proprietor John Allen, who was alleged to have been running a porn and gay prostitution empire, this was considered to be outside the scope of the panel. However although Bryn Alyn was privately owned, many links existed between Bryn Alyn and the statutory sector. Clwyd County Council maintained that they were in favour of the Welsh Office holding a major public inquiry because of the possibility of a paedophile ring.

Alison Taylor, the former Gwynedd County Council social worker who had been the first person to blow the whistle on the paedophile ring that was operating in north Wales, submitted her 1991 dossier of concerns to the Jillings panel. They wrote to Lucille Hughes, Director of Gwynedd Social Services and on 1 May 1995 the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services wrote back to the panel stating that Alison Taylor’s allegations were made known to the police and the Welsh Office, had been fully investigated and that no charges had been brought. (The name of the Deputy Director of Social Services is not given, but I suspect that it might have been the dreadful Rob Evans, who in his capacity as Deputy Director, was also concealing abuse in the mental health services in Gwynedd.) In 2000 the Waterhouse Report named Lucille Hughes as knowing that a paedophile ring had been in operation in the social services but had failed to respond. There were cross county placements of children between Gwynedd and Clwyd.

In their report, the panel refer to the Hughes Report of 1985, concerning the abuse of children in N Ireland, the Staffordshire Social Services Dept ‘Pin-Down’ Report of 1991 and the Report following the major inquiry into Frank Beck’s activities in Leicestershire in 1992. They mention that there are currently extensive police enquiries underway in five local authorities in England and that the Department of Health have admitted that there is a ‘significant problem’. The panel note that since 1977, 10 people working in children’s establishments in Clwyd had been charged with offences against children in care, including five past or present members of staff at Bryn Estyn. The panel make reference to the adolescent unit run by the NHS, the Gwynfa Unit. I seem to remember that it was the Gwynfa Unit that was located at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Presumably this is the ‘young persons unit’ that Mary Wynch told me about, where Dr Dafydd Alun Jones (the one time partner of Lucille Hughes) encouraged the young people to have sex with each other as staff watched the live sex show. The panel conclude that there was widespread and extensive abuse in children’s homes in Clwyd but that they were unable to address the question of whether public figures were involved. They discovered that there had been ten previous internal investigations into abuse in the children’s homes and an investigation into Bryn Estyn in 1971.

Some of the key managers involved in running the ‘services’ during the period of time under investigation were:

Emlyn Evans, Director of Social Services 1974-1980, Gledwyn Jones, Director of Social Services 1980-1991, John Jevons, Director of Social Services 1991-1995. (Upon the receipt of this devastating report and the dissolving of Clwyd County Council days later, John Jevons then took up the appointment of Director of Social Services for Cardiff. Perish the thought that anyone should actually resign.) Emlyn Evans, Gledwyn Jones and John Jevons had all worked within the system for years and had achieved their position as a result of internal promotions so presumably had something to do with the mess. Before the formation of Clwyd County Council in 1974, Both Emlyn Evans and Gledwyn Jones had been senior managers with Denbighshire Social Services. So they’ll have known Dafydd and T. Gwynne Williams the lobotomist then! Emlyn will have known Dafydd and the lobotomist very well indeed, mental health was his remit. Leta Jones, a former children’s officer for Denbighshire was retained in a senior post in Clwyd, responsible for children’s services. At the time of the panel’s investigation, the Chief Exec of Clwyd County Council was Roger Davies – he had previously been the County Secretary and Solicitor.

Some of the previous internal investigations into child abuse that the panel discovered were an investigation into the employment of David Gillison and Jackie Thomas in Jan 1987 and the establishment of a panel in Dec 1988 by Gledwyn Jones to investigate the sexual assault of a girl at Park House, Prestatyn. This panel included Andrew Loveridge (Assistant County Secretary, Clwyd) and Keith MacKenzie (Assistant Director UK West, National Children’s Homes). They also stumbled across the Cartrefle Report, which alone gave an insight into just how bad the problems in Clwyd were. Cartrefle was a home that was closed in 1993, which employed Stephen Norris as its officer in charge. Norris was convicted in October 1990 and subsequently imprisoned. In July 1990, Norris appeared in Court charged with sexual offences. In August 1990, the Chief Inspector of the Welsh Office Social Services Inspectorate (SSIW), David Evans, wrote to the Director of Social Services, Gledwyn Jones, requesting details. Yet on 18 Oct 1990, Evans declined a request from Clwyd themselves requesting a Welsh Office inspection, after Norris’s conviction. Instead, a review by the Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) was ordered. So reports were commissioned from John Banham (who had formerly worked with Cheshire Social Services), Dr Kathleen Dalzell from the District Health Authority and David Lund from Clwyd County Council Education Dept. Their reports formed individual sections of an overarching report from the Cartrefle Panel of Inquiry, which was appointed in June 1991. The members of this panel were: Hywel Ellis Hughes (former County Secretary and Solicitor for Gwynedd County Council and Secretary to North Wales Probation Committee), Susan Mead (Chief Inspector to Social Services Inspection Division of Birmingham City Council), Dr David Roberts (Consultant in Public Health Medicine in Gwynedd Health Authority), Gareth Jones (Head of Ysgol John Bright, Llandudno) and Christopher Allen (Divisional Officer, Dyfed Social Services Dept). Some of these names and the areas from which they hailed rang bells for me. Kathleen Delzell from Clwyd Health Authority – the Health Authority that covered up for Dafydd Alun Jones as he illegally imprisoned people in the North Wales Hospital where they were then abused and sexually exploited. Hywel Ellis Hughes – the crooked solicitor previously featured on this blog (please see post ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’) who had a hotline to Lucille Hughes and who was prepared to assist people whom he knew were perjuring themselves in Court in order to imprison people who had complained about Gwynedd Social Services and the mental health services. Susan Mead from Birmingham – well there were a few corrupt people in Birmingham doing a few corrupt people in north Wales favours (please see posts ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ and ‘Amber Rudd, The Miners Strike And A Memory Jogged’). Dr David Roberts – his name crops up in my own medical records as someone providing advice regarding the numerous attempts to conceal the wrongdoing in the mental health services and have me imprisoned for crimes that everyone knew that I had not committed. What an excellent choice of people to conduct an investigation into a violent sexual offender who was employed in a children’s home! I wonder how a man like that ever ended up there with those paragons of virtue on hand to proffer advice. As for Gareth Jones – as a headmaster he would I assume know how unacceptable sexually molesting children in your care is. Gareth later became the Plaid AM for Aberconwy – his successful campaign was attributed to him running on an ‘I love the NHS’ ticket – and very recently was appointed as leader of Conwy County Council! Is it not time for you to go public on some of what you knew to be going on in the NHS and social care services Gareth? The Jillings Report mentions that the ACPC itself was ‘marginalised’ – but they were as utterly hopeless and as compromised as everyone else. It is mentioned that the Chair of the ACPC was a Mrs Train, who doubled up as the Director of Public Health Nursing in Clwyd Health Authority – someone else who will have been concealing the activities of Dafydd and his chums in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh! And guess who the Vice-Chair of the ACPC was? None other than the Director of Social Services himself, John Jevons! How marginalised was he? I am wondering whether the Jillings panel’s notion that the ACPC was ‘marginalised’ might have had something to do with the fact that John Banham acted as an advisor to the Jillings panel – John Banham had of course been involved in the ACPC’s report regarding Cartrefle. At the time of the Cartrefle outrages, the ACPC thought that perhaps health and education personnel ‘might have failed to identify abuse’. Er, yes – along with an awful lot of other people, including the ACPC. However I’m glad to note that the ACPC did show at least a bit of nouse on one occasion – Jevons had been Chair of the ACPC and Mrs Train had been the Vice-Chair, but after the shit hit the fan at Cartrefle, Jevons suggested to Mrs Train that perhaps she might like to be Chair for a while because it might look dodgy if the Director of Social Services was Chair of the ACPC. So he was just the Vice-Chair instead.

Clwyd obviously went for the belt and braces approach where Cartrefle and Stephen Norris were concerned – not only did they employ some well-known spineless colluders (or worse) to compile the Carterfle Report, but they then ensured that it wasn’t published or presented in its entirety. The Jillings panel wrote to the Director of Social Services as well as to the County Secretary and Solicitor about this. They received a letter from the County Solicitor and Secretary dated 11 May 1995 explaining that a copy of the Cartrefle Report had been sent to the Council’s insurers (them again!) and that comments were invited pre-publication. The letter states that ‘needless to say this was done with the full knowledge of leading politicians’. So some ‘leading politicians’ knew that children were being sexually assaulted in Clwyd children’s homes in 1990 then. I wonder who those politicians might have been? The County Secretary and Solicitor however maintained that the report wasn’t published lest it prejudice the trial of Stephen Norris. That doesn’t explain why they continued to keep it quiet after Norris was convicted – or why the same insurers did prevent Jillings’s own report from being made public.

The Jillings Report mentions another name that I recognised. It is mentioned that after Norris was convicted, in a meeting of the ACPC in Dec 1990, Superintendent Roberts said that ‘a review of police procedures was difficult to envisage in view of the late stage at which the police were brought in’. Could this be the same Superintendent Roberts that the nurses at the North Wales Hospital documented had cooked up a ‘deal’ with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones to illegally detain me? And I’ve heard the phrase ‘at this late stage’ before as well. As everyone flatly refused to investigate the most serious aspects of my complaint against Dafydd, as witness statements from Brown were ‘lost’ (although the letter from Brown that I was told had been lost turned up in my medical records years later with two handwritten unsigned comments on it, namely ‘what shall we do about Dr Brown’s letter?’, ‘do not reply’), I was eventually sent a letter from the dreadful Alun Davies, manager of the Hergest Unit, saying that they really couldn’t investigate my complaint ‘at this late stage’. So that’s how its done – complaints about the most serious criminal activity are ignored for years and then are deemed uninvestigable ‘at this late stage’.

It seems that the toothless, spineless colluders who compiled the Cartrefle Report nonetheless recommended the creation of a senior specialist post at Clwyd HQ leading up children’s services. John Jevons ignored the recommendation. The Jillings team described the existence of the Cartrefle Report as an ‘open secret’ within Clwyd Social Services. A few staff even had a copy, but didn’t even know if they should admit to this. It was unclear which officers of the Social Services, Health and Education Depts had a copy of the full report. Jillings commented on the ‘chaotic management systems’ within the Social Services and noted that although the Health and Education Depts had conducted a review, the North Wales Police hadn’t. Furthermore there was nothing to suggest that the Social Services Committee or the Welsh Office had sought an explanation of why there had been no police input into the Cartrefle Report. A copy of the Cartefle Report was sent to David Evans, the Chief Inspector at the Welsh Office’s SSIW, by the Director of Social Services, along with a covering letter explaining that ‘no-one but yourself’ had a full copy of the Report and that there is no intention to circulate the report to members of the ACPC or members of Clwyd County Council. The Director of Social Services also observed that ‘the sanctions available to the CPS to cover ‘leakage’ and any other form of publication…are really dire for Clwyd County Council and for any individual concerned’. Now there’s a hint! Jillings observes that no direct consultation seems to have taken place between the Inspectorate and the CPS concerning the report or the accompanying letter. Indeed the Welsh Office Inspectorate did not attend the special meeting of the Social Services Committee on 27 Oct 1992 or the ACPC meeting of 10 Sept 1992, at which the synopsis of the Cartrefle recommendations was presented and furthermore the Inspectorate were given virtually no notice of the meeting – but the Welsh Office showed remarkably little concern anyway, which surprised Jillings.

I have previously mentioned Frederick Rutter, who was imprisoned for rape and indecent assaults on a number of young women. Not only was Rutter a former Clwyd employee but he was a foster parent too. In October 1992 John Jevons reported to the Social Services sub-committee on the investigation that had been conducted by Geoff Wyatt, Assistant Director of Social Services, in the wake of Rutter’s conviction. It transpired that there had been an ‘incident’ in 1985 involving Rutter at a holiday camp with children from Park House, the home where Rutter had been ‘officer in charge’. Andrew Loveridge, Assistant County Secretary and Solicitor and a member of the Park House Inquiry Panel, told Wyatt that he was unaware of this incident. Once again this investigation shows how lacklustre and clueless people were. Wyatt had questioned exactly what they do if people make comments such as ‘he gives me the creeps’ and seemed uncertain as to how allegations against staff are recorded on their files. However my experiences with the north Wales mental health services suggest that this sort of confusion has proved to be very useful to them. When I complained repeatedly about Dafydd’s inappropriate attitude and conduct towards me and other female patients, I was consistently told by one Hergest nurse that she too found Dafydd ‘unpleasant and creepy’, but being ‘unpleasant and creepy’ wasn’t a foundation for disciplinary action and that because Dafydd hadn’t ‘touched me’ there was nothing anyone could do. There was a good reason as to why Dafydd hadn’t touched me – I didn’t give him the chance. He had however illegally detained me, threatened me, tried to bribe me and had told Dr Robin Jacobson, a psychiatrist at St Georges Hospital Medical School, that I was ‘attractive and seductive’, causing Jacobson to observe that Dafydd ‘lacked boundaries’. Furthermore Dafydd had cohabited with two female patients at once, constantly sexually harassed the female staff and five female patients had provided statements to MIND saying that they’d had sexual relationships with him. How much evidence did anyone need? Meanwhile over in Clwyd – Dafydd’s powerbase! – Rutter was raping people and he too was framed as being a bit creepy. But Geoff Wyatt had a track record of not dealing with creepy people who were carrying out serious sexual assaults on children – he previously had management oversight of Bryn Estyn, where boys who had run away after being molested by the notorious Peter Howarth were returned by the police, even those boys who had needed hospital treatment. The regime that Wyatt ‘oversaw’ at Bryn Estyn was certainly extraordinary and involved physical brutality resulting in injury and late night pyjama parties in Howarth’s accommodation, where boys were shown porn and molested. It transpired that there were connections between the police and the staff at Bryn Estyn in terms of socialising through the golf and rugby clubs. Bryn Estyn also had some interesting recruitment procedures – at one point that was being done via the rugby club as well. Jillings observed that the police investigation into Bryn Estyn in 1991 should have been a joint one with the Social Services, rather than a police only investigation. I doubt that it would have made any difference – both social services staff and the police knew exactly what was happening to those boys and some of them were joining in with the fun themselves.

Jillings observes that Welsh Office guidance states that the local authority is required to report to the Secretary of State the suffering of serious harm by children accommodated in homes, but that this wasn’t done. But the Secretary of State must have been sound asleep anyway, because there were criminal trials of ‘care workers’ happening resulting in prison sentences for serious sexual offences. And of course Alison Taylor was constantly telling Ministers that a paedophile ring was operating in the children’s homes of north Wales. But the Secretary of State remained in a deep slumber. In fact a number of Secretaries of State did, because this happened over a period of years. Not that it did them any harm, they ended up in the House of Lords… In March 1995, someone finally stirred at the Welsh Office and serious concerns were raised to Clwyd over the case of a girl who had been physically assaulted and raped whilst in their care. Other bizarre things had happened to her as well, like being tied to a mop handle and dumped in a cold bath. The Welsh Office managed to actually attend a meeting about this.

Jillings commented that the role of the Welsh Office in the Cartrefle inquiry merited careful consideration by the Dept of Health, the Welsh Office Social Services Inspectorate and the CPS. Who was Secretary of State for Wales at the time of the Cartrefle inquiry? David Hunt, now Lord Hunt. Presumably Lord Hunt of I Couldn’t Give a Fuck If Children Are Being Raped – the Welsh Office obviously really came under scrutiny there.

The Welsh Office was described by former Director of Social Services Emlyn Evans as to be rather remote and not fulfilling their roles of examining malpractice or impropriety. Although I very much doubt that Emlyn was too keen for them to do this considering what was happening on his patch. Jillings provides yet more evidence of just how incestuous the system was and how long some of these managers had been around. The names Ray Powell and Janet Handley are supplied as senior managers with responsibility for children in residential care. Powell had previously worked in the old Flintshire Authority, Handley in Denbighshire. The aforementioned Geoff Wyatt who wasn’t very good at dealing with creepy rapists had previously worked for Denbighshire as the Court and Liaison Officer. Wyatt was even the representative on the Children’s Regional Planning Committee, established by the Welsh Office to plan residential child care across Wales, comprising of Directors of Social Services and the Welsh Office Social Work Service. A John Coley was appointed Deputy Director of Social Services in 1980 but in 1984 took up a post with Tayside Social Services. A John Llewellyn-Thomas, a senior children’s service manager, took up a post as Assistant Director in Mid-Glamorgan Social Services Dept.

Geoff Wyatt told the Jillings panel that during the 1980s, the number of people dismissed by Clwyd County Council through it’s disciplinary process was ‘very few and far between’ – those that were dismissed were those who had been prosecuted and imprisoned. The picture that emerges is deeply depressing – a bunch of moribund old farts all scratching each others backs, who had occupied various positions in the region for decades, who had knowingly ignored the violence and serious sexual abuse meted out to children and hadn’t got a clue what to do now that it had all become very public. Above them a Welsh Office who just didn’t give a toss what the sheepshaggers below were doing to each other. What’s even more frightening was that a few of those turning a blind eye to all this serious crime escaped with their poison to other parts of the UK, presumably to stuff up there.

The Jillings Report supplies much other information that confirms just how dysfunctional and clueless Clwyd Social Services were. As the police investigation in the early 1990s into child abuse in Clwyd began, an NSPCC Helpline was established, supposedly to support those former residents of children’s homes – who were now adults – who were giving evidence to the police and in Court. A previous post ‘News Updates, Additional Comments And Observations’ has featured the woman – who is now the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales and has stood as a Plain candidate in two elections – who established this Helpline. She is Ann Griffiths, who was a mental health social worker with one of the teams that was abusing clients and then worked as a manager for Gwynedd Social Services, which had also been host to the paedophile ring and whose Director, Lucille Hughes, was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing about the paedophile ring but not taking any action. Gwynedd sent children on placement to Clwyd and vice versa. So this Helpline was questionable from the outset. The Helpline was funded by Clwyd Social Services and opened on 1 December 1991. The Helpline seemed to be compromised in every way. There was liaison between the NSPCC project leader – who was also a counsellor on the Helpline – and Social Services Officers. The project leader was also the Helpline complaints receiving officer. Supervision was unclear and there was no protocol for confidentiality. Some clients were referred to other agencies but there were no further information regarding this. Gender was taken into consideration – the ex-residents were offered a woman counsellor. I know that gender considerations should be made in such circumstances but the issue of gender where the abuses in north Wales were concerned was tricky. Again and again I saw examples where women were used – with their knowledge – to assist in perpetuating or concealing abuses. A tried and tested technique of the mental health services was to use some female stooge to maintain that they had been assaulted or threatened by a patient – the ‘services’ knew damn well that if they wanted to frame a patient or maintain that a patient was threatening or dangerous, it was far more effective coming from a woman. Particularly one in a stereotypically ‘caring’ role, such as a nurse or a social worker. Furthermore, many of those ‘caring women’ were in relationships with the abusing men or men in senior roles who were concealing the abuses. I note that the Jillings Report mentioned that most of the ‘housemothers’ in the children’s homes were married to the men who were sexually molesting the boys – how could those boys ever have told the housemothers what was happening? Although the housemothers almost certainly knew anyway, everyone else did. Women in such roles knew damn well that they were being used in this way – some were every bit as abusive as their male colleagues and joined in enthusiastically with the lies and perjury, others were bullied into it. Another favourite ploy was indeed to provide a female ‘counsellor’ – who would then pass on the knowledge that they had extracted from the patient in the counselling sessions to the abusive colleagues who would then use that knowledge against the patient. I think it entirely probable that the information gained from the people using this Helpline was fed straight back to the managers of the service – who were only interested in protecting themselves – or even to the abusers themselves, so they would have known exactly who was prepared to give evidence against them, what their allegations were and how near to breaking point they were. Jillings mentions that the counsellor employed on the Helpline had previous experience of mental health work, was a qualified social worker but only had limited experience of working in Court and giving evidence. Which is what the people using the Helpline really needed – they were all giving evidence in Court. This person was not given a job specification or was even interviewed – but it was mentioned that she’d previously worked for Gwynedd County Council, so Clwyd had knowledge of her ‘experience and skills’. I bet they did – she had probably been hand-picked by Lucille Hughes to go next door to Clwyd, work on that Helpline and grass up who was brave enough to give evidence. Although Jillings stated that supervision for the Helpline was unclear, Clwyd  stated that supervision was provided by David Hugh Davies, Child Protection Co-Ordinator – obviously a man who had protected no children at all. It transpired that the only contact that Davies had with the counsellor whom he was alleged to be supervising was regular informal contact through their mutual involvement with Stepping Stones, a Wrexham based charity for females who had been sexually abused. (Jillings noted that there was no service in Clwyd for males who had been sexually abused. Of course there wasn’t, a paedophile ring targeting mostly boys had operated in the area for years, no-one was going to provide help for the victims of that ring.) The North Wales Police – who had very obviously colluded with the abuse for years – helpfully supplied officers to support and transport witnesses to and from Court. Jillings noted that one former resident who had given evidence in Court and who had been ‘supported’ by the Helpline had recently been found hanged. But at least it was stressed that the person who ‘supported’ the dead man was an employee of Clwyd County Council so was covered by the authority’s insurance. Thank goodness for that! It was noted that the involvement of the NHS was unclear, especially with regard to the mental health services and that no special service had been set up. I can tell the Jillings team what the role of the mental health services was. It was to find out from patients what they knew about the abuse and malpractice, who they were telling about it, whether they might be believed and if so to label them ‘deluded’, section them and if possible secure a conviction against them so that everyone could be told that they were a criminal and couldn’t be believed. (And in my case it was also to find out which jobs I was applying for and whether I was going to publish what I knew.) Then if they developed any illness such as depression, to ensure that they did not receive effective treatment. Jillings notes that the former residents of the children’s homes using the Helpline were now adults, so having a Helpline run by a children’s charity was inappropriate. As was having a Helpline set up and run by the abusers themselves. The Jillings Report noted that the Helpline didn’t encourage people to use local resources for mental health problems although those former residents were so traumatised that they were in need of long term mental healthcare. This was no coincidence – they were undoubtedly being left to kill themselves or end up in such a bad way that they wouldn’t make good witnesses in Court. Which, if one now looks back at this history of the north Wales child abuse scandal, is exactly what happened. Jillings remarked that the Home Office and Department of Health were ‘looking at the issue of psychiatric treatment prior to criminal proceedings’ in the case of child sexual abuse – they obviously didn’t look too hard…

The Jillings Report had some an insightful remarks regarding an aggressive male-dominated hierarchy in Clwyd with very few female managers, female staff being sexually harassed and having to seek ‘help’ from male colleagues – or even friends – of the harassers – and female staff being ‘harried and over-ridden’ by a powerful male hierarchy. Now as I have previously mentioned, I noticed exactly the same model in the mental health system – but those women DID have agency and they had a lot more power than the children or mental health patients who were being horribly abused. They were doing the dirty work of patriarchy and they bloody well knew it – they did not HAVE to do it. The ‘services’ in north Wales these days do have women in senior management positions – they are the women who for years colluded with the abuses and they have been well-rewarded. The services are still shite because there are now clueless abusive women running them as well as clueless abusive men. This is no feminist triumph.

Jillings also discovered further evidence of the high levels of protection that abusive staff enjoyed. Not only would no representative from UNISON agree to meet with Jillings and his panel, but there is a reference to a letter dated July 91 to John Jevons from John Cooke of NALGO, requesting that Stephen Norris be granted retirement on the grounds of ill health, enclosing a psychiatrist’s letter of support. Norris was a prolific sex offender who was eventually imprisoned and had been charged by the time that this letter was written. The people who had been abused received no such support from NALGO or a psychiatrist. (I wonder who the psychiatrist who was so helpful to a child abuser was?) But some of the abusers were union reps themselves – in February 1984 Paul Bicker Wilson was appointed a senior steward for NALGO. In August 1987, Clwyd personnel recommended that Wilson retire on the grounds of ill health – Clwyd had previously tried to resolve the problem that was Wilson by transferring him to the ‘mental handicap’ team, but they didn’t want him and he didn’t want them, so he was transferred back to children’s work. In December 1987 the Director of Social Services recommended that Wilson retire on the grounds of ill health – throughout all this Wilson himself had managed to make a complaint that was dealt with by the County Secretary and Solicitor. Wilson, who had worked at Bryn Estyn, was finally convicted of violent assaults on children at Knutsford Crown Court in 1994 (but only after Chester Crown Court had acquitted him of a few other assaults a few months previously). Wilson had previously work at children’s homes in Leicester and Southwark (please see posts ‘An Expert From England’ and ‘The London Connection’). Sounds like a network to me… Again I witnessed this protection of abusive staff by ‘democratic’ bodies such as unions or professional organisations repeatedly in the mental health services. They have access to unlimited free legal advice in the way that those being abused do not. Jillings mentions that the rights of staff should be equally balanced against the rights of children – the report also mentions that in Clwyd, the rights and needs of the staff were constantly prioritised above those of the children. Like the mental health services, the children’s services were run for the benefit of the staff. Indeed the former Bryn Estyn staff were given a support service and individual counselling was offered to all former Bryn Estyn staff still working for Clwyd. A previous ‘self-help group’ set up by former Bryn Estyn staff met with senior officers and selected Members during the course of the police investigation and trials. So the people who had spent years brutalising and raping children had their emotional needs well attended to… The staff also knew how bad the ‘care’ that they delivered was – the Jillings panel were constantly told by staff that they would never be able to get jobs elsewhere, so toxic was the reputation of Clwyd. Jillings notes that children in Clwyd were sexually exploited under the guise of ‘homosexual equality’. (This was also a problem in the child abuse scandals in inner London – please see post ‘The London Connection’). Jillings notes that there was no effective complaints procedure for children in Clwyd.

So exactly how much interest did the Welsh Office take in this lethal service for which their Social Services Inspectorate were ultimately responsible?  There were no inspections of any residential facilities caring for adults or children in 1991 or 1992 – although the biggest police investigation into child abuse in the UK was taking place in Clwyd at this time. During the years between 1986 and 1992, there were no general inspections of Clwyd at all. Between 1984 and 1990 there were no inspections of Cartrefle and between 1984 and 1993 there was no Welsh Office SSIW inspection of any Clwyd Social Services residential children’s home. There was no evidence of any inspection of Bryn Estyn throughout the period that it was managed by Clwyd. However, following the publication of the Staffordshire ‘Pin Down’ Report and allegations of the widespread abuse of children in Wales, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Nicholas Bennett, instructed the Inspectorate to undertake a ‘review’ because it was ‘important to receive an assurance that children’s homes in Wales were providing a high standard of service to the children in them’. This review involved a postal questionnaire sent to the service providers, interviews with managers and staff, interviews with three small groups of children, as well as interviews with staff representatives, the voluntary sector, unions and professional associations. No information was available regarding how those who were interviewed were selected. After this very robust review, published in January 1992, the Welsh Office were able to state that the review did not reveal examples of causes for concern. But they remained on the ball as ever – in Sept 1992 the Secretary of State for Wales – David Hunt – expressed deep concern about the allegations of child abuse in north Wales and it was concluded that a Public Inquiry was needed in view of ‘public disquiet’. However it was stated that this couldn’t happen until the police investigation was complete. The Chair of the Council’s Social Services Committee, Councillor Malcolm King, had constantly raised objections to the North Wales Police being allowed to investigate very serious matters involving their own officers. In the wake of continued concerns being expressed that the North Wales Police were investigating themselves, a letter dated 17 May 1993 from a Mr Lockyer, the Private Secretary to the Home Office, was sent to the County Secretary and Solicitor, stating that Ministers couldn’t intervene in police operational matters and had no powers to direct the Chief Constable to appoint an officer from outside of the force to take over or supervise and that the Chief Constable of North Wales resisted the suggestion of bringing in an outside officer. (The Chief Constable is not named, but it will have been either David Owen or Michael Argent – I note that there is very little information publicly available about the higher echelons of the North Wales Police during this period of time.)Furthermore, it was stated that the proposed public inquiry would take place after the completion of any criminal proceedings and would be concerned with the action of the local authority and would not include a review of the way in which the police conducted their investigation. So the North Wales Police investigated themselves, refused to co-operate with the Jillings inquiry, refused to hand over an enormous quantity of evidence and their conduct during the criminal investigation was never scrutinised. Nicola Davies QC was appointed by the Welsh Office in May 1995 to review the documentation relating to child abuse in north Wales. On 11 December 1995, William Hague, the Secretary of State for Wales, announced that on the basis of the evidence seen by Nicola Davies a public inquiry could not be justified. (There was of course a change of plan and a public inquiry, Chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse, was subsequently held.)

I have previously mentioned that the extensive and very damning report compiled by Jillings and his team was suppressed for years by Clwyd’s insurers, Municipal Mutual (which was subsequently taken over by Zurich Insurance), on the advice of their solicitors, Browne Jacobson. Not only that, but it was recommended that if that troublesome bugger Councillor Malcolm King, the Chair of the Social Services Committee who had raised so many objections to the North Wales Police investigating themselves, insisting on blurting out any of the contents of the Jillings Report that everyone else would rather remained unknown, he should be sacked. Municipal Mutual were also the insurers of the North Wales Police. Immediately after Jillings compiled the report, there was a reorganisation of the local authorities in Wales and Clwyd disappeared. Because the report wasn’t seen by anybody, new arrivals in the wake of the reorganisation had no knowledge at all about what had gone on in Clwyd. So they remained in the dark – but those from the old corrupt regime who were still in place had been afforded protection. When Jillings et al discovered that their report was not going to see the light of day, they made some very pertinent comments. They noted that ‘those advising the insurers’ are raising issues that ‘impinge on the established democratic and constitutional arrangements of England and Wales’. I have obtained the name of one of those who advised the insurers to suppress information regarding the way in which hundreds of children were subjected to horrific cruelty and sexual assault over years and who subverted democracy. It was one Michael Beloff QC. Beloff practices at Blackstone Chambers and like so many others featuring on this blog who have colluded with or concealed the most appalling abuses of vulnerable people, Beloff is a specialist in human rights! But here’s the clincher – Beloff is a friend of Tony and Cherie Blair and was among their guests at Chequers. Researching for this blog has certainly been an Education, Education, Education…

As with other posts, I’ll briefly remind readers of what was happening to me whilst the biggest UK police investigation into child abuse was happening in Clwyd, whilst social care professionals were sentenced to lengthy spells in prison for serious sexual offences against children and whilst the Welsh Office completely ignored what ‘public servants’ in north Wales were concealing. I was being repeatedly dragged through the Courts for very serious offences although there was no evidence at all that I’d ever committed such offences and eminent ‘expert witnesses’ from London such as Professor Nigel Eastman and Dr Paul Bowden, backed up by lesser names such as Dr Robin Jacobson, were declaring me ‘extremely dangerous’ on the basis of conversations that they had held with those closely associated with the services under criminal investigation in north Wales. Oh and Sir Robert Francis QC tried to have me imprisoned – because I wouldn’t stop writing letters maintaining that mental health professionals in north Wales were involved in criminal activity.

So just to remind everyone who was fast asleep in the Welsh Office whilst ‘services’ employing people raping children and terrorising witnesses were left uninspected – despite the regular appearance of some of those employees in Courts charged with serious offences and the deaths of witnesses – and the one external independent investigation into all this was completely suppressed:

Nicholas Edwards, Secretary of State for Wales, 5 May 1979-13 June 1987; Peter Walker, Secretary of State for Wales 13 June 1987 -4 May 1990; David Hunt, Secretary of State for Wales 4 May 1990- 27 May 1993; John Redwood, Secretary of State for Wales 27 May 1993-26 June 1995; David Hunt (again!), Secretary of State for Wales 26 June 1995-5 July 1995; William Hague, Secretary of State for Wales 5 July 1995-3 May 1997. All of these but Redwood ended up in the House of Lords.

What about the Home Secretaries – who watched as the North Wales Police investigated themselves, refused to allow an officer from another force to oversee them and then refused to co-operate with the Jillings team, withholding evidence? They were:

Kenneth Baker, Home Secretary 28 November 1990-10 April 1992; Ken Clarke, Home Secretary 10 April 1992-27 May 1993, Michael Howard, Home Secretary 27 May 1993-2 May 1997. Baker and Howard are now in the House of Lords.

Many of these names cropped up in my previous posts when I detailed the Ministers who ignored the abuses taking place in the north Wales mental health services…

Of course, at the time when I was outraging Sir Robert Francis and St Georges Hospital Medical School I only had evidence relating to the dreadful conduct of the mental health services. However in 1993 I witnessed the child protection services in Gwynedd in action. That will be the subject of a future post.

I began this post with reference to Laura Janner-Klausner, who believes that making allegations of historical child sexual abuse against public figures in order to extract dosh is a pushover. I can’t recommend that Laura accesses the full details of the horror that prevailed in Clwyd children’s homes because even today, there is no version of the Jillings Report that is not heavily redacted available – and even if she was prepared to listen to witness accounts, Laura still wouldn’t hear the full story because most of the witnesses are dead. However Jillings did make a point of commenting that the former residents of Clwyd children’s homes were not motivated by financial recompense or malice, they just wanted to ensure that what happened to them never happened to anyone else. Recent events demonstrate that large scale sexual abuse of children in care is still happening. One reason why still no-one is learning from their experience is that people like Laura use their considerable influence to tell everyone that they’re a load of gold-digging liars. By the way, Laura’s sister Marion styles herself as a ‘mental health campaigner’. She is a regular on the utterly lame Radio 4 ‘All In The Mind’ programme which serves primarily as a PR vehicle for the mental health services. Marion visited the mental health services in north east Wales and remarked on their excellence. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board that runs those services is now in special measures – because of institutional abuse in the mental health services. I think the sooner the Janners shut their collective mouths and stop making appearances on the BBC the better – Marion is of course such a delicate flower that she makes a point of insisting that her ’emotional support dog’ accompanies her everywhere. You didn’t get one of them if you were raped in a children’s home in Clwyd, probably because the cost of the breeding and training programme that would have been needed to produce sufficient numbers of Labradors would have been prohibitive. So it’s only Marion who’s secured one. Of course if Laura does ever trouble herself to read about what happened in children’s homes in north Wales over decades, she will notice that despite the huge police investigation, confusion continued to reign and a lot of witness statements somehow never found their way into the hands of the CPS anyway. Despite an acknowledgement that there was child abuse on a massive scale occurring and a paedophile ring in operation, with the exception of Gordon Anglesea, only a small number of social care workers at the bottom of the food chain were ever convicted and imprisoned. Because it’s just so fucking easy isn’t it Laura.

 

 

 

 

Author: Sally Baker

I am a writer and a sociologist, originally from Somerset, but I've been based in Wales for most of my life. I had my first encounter with a mental health professional in 1984 at the age of 21. My GP described this man to my then partner - who also became a sociologist - as someone who had experienced 'considerable success'. My meeting with this psychiatrist was a disaster and we attempted to complain about his insensitivity and highly inappropriate behaviour. That was the first time we were threatened and pressurised to withdraw a complaint against a mental health professional. This man is long dead - he was a retired psychiatrist from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, T. Gwynne Williams, who was working shifts in the student health centre at University College of North Wales (now Bangor University). We discovered years later that this 'successful man' was notorious - he had been an enthusiastic lobotomist...

2 thoughts on “It’s A Piece Of Cake…”

  1. I would just like to explain that ‘Gwynfa’ ( to which you refer in this blog post) was situated in Upper Colwyn Bay and was, indeed, an intensive therapy unit for teenagers with severe behavioural issues. The unit at Denbigh was Gwynfryn – being a place of therapy for mental health patients not deemed in need of the intense support provided within the main hospital.

    1. Thank you ever so much for this information. I have been reading bits of the Waterhouse Report this afternoon and it was explained in there that Gwynfa was in Upper Colwyn Bay – I was just wondering what the unit in Denbigh was called, so you’ve clarified that for me. Many thanks. Do you happen to know if Gwynfryn would have been the unit for young people that Mary Wynch would have been referring to in her conversation with me? If you see any other things on the blog that you can clarify please do let me know. I never lived in Clwyd, so apart from my incarceration in Denbigh and the first hand experience gained from there, my knowledge of Clwyd is shaky.

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