This article is not going to follow the usual format of the Outlaw, inasmuch as it is the first of a series, an ‘introduction’, or a ‘Part One’ if you like, which appears to be the current trend.
What I am going to attempt to set down in these articles, is not going to make comfortable reading for anyone, even more so for some of those who were actually involved, as certain ‘facts’ I am going to highlight, begin to register.
The image most people appear to have of the children that were abused in the British care system, is seeing them as they are now, middle-aged adults.
The mainstream media, have ensured that would be the picture, indelibly etched onto the nations memory, as was witnessed in November 2012, with the appearence of Steven Messham on the BBC ‘Newsnight’ programme.
Like many others, I had reservations about the whole thing being dragged up again, but on the whole, it now appears to have had a positive effect.
Survivors have come forward, who were, thankfully, not caught up in the now infamous media circus that resulted in the setting up of the Waterhouse Enquiry, which began in January 1997 and concluded with the publishing of the final report in February 2000.
“The final report ran to over 500,000 words, and contained 700 allegations of abuse involving 170 individuals. More than 80 people, many of whom were care staff or teachers, were named as child abusers in statements to the inquiry. Costing more than £12M, it was stated to be: “the biggest investigation ever held in Britain into allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children who passed through the care system.” WIKIPEDIA – WATERHOUSE
250 witnesses and more than 200 additional statements were examined, being painstakingly scrutinised alongside testimony from more than 650 people over the 203 days the enquiry lasted.
It was an expensive, bloated and fundamentally flawed undertaking, which for many, still did not lay to rest the suspicions that the whole issue of institutional child abuse in the care homes of north Wales, was still being ‘Covered Up.‘
There are numerous sources available online, with an even greater number of theories offered as to why Waterhouse was flawed, from suspicions of the involvement of Freemasons, through to the north Wales police, ‘covering their own backs’ by destroying vital evidence due to their alleged involvement.
So was the Waterhouse Enquiry, as fundamentally flawed as had been alleged?
Paddy French of Rebecca TV certainly thinks so.
I have now read most of what has been published online, including the 900+ page behemoth that is the ‘Lost in Care’ report, I have also, waded through a number of conventionally published books on the subject, including ‘The secret of Bryn Estyn’ by Richard Webster.
All have their merits, as well as their failings, especially with regard to their belief, that, ‘No stone has been left unturned’ and every aspect had been minutely and exhaustively examined.
I do not share that belief.
I say that because it is my understanding, that some of, possibly even the most vital of testimonies, were not examined in any great detail, omitted completely, or not even heard.
That evidence could have easily been made available, if the people who held the information had been summoned to the Enquiry of course.
Witnesses such as John Allen’s ex-accountant at Bryn Alyn, Des Frost, could have been called to give his testimony.
If that had been allowed to happen, it would have become known that a wider police enquiry into alleged child abuse, could have been launched a decade earlier.
But that would have also meant that John Allen, had somehow been allowed to continue abusing what may yet turn out be hundreds of children.
For a full ten years.
Was that the reason he was never called?
Could it have been to avoid a high profile trial, which may have proved to be very uncomfortable for the people who had enabled John Allen, access to many more vulnerable children?
Or was it not seen to be as important, as some of the ‘questionable’ testimony from any number of witnesses, who’s own versions of the abuse they claim to have suffered, had changed many times?
What I personally believe to be the biggest flaw in the Waterhouse Enquiry, you will find extremely difficult, if not impossible to locate online.
(Google will not be able to help you on this one, I’m afraid, as the only remaining reference, has very recently been deleted from the Internet cache.)
It is nowhere to be found among the half a million plus words found inside the ‘Lost In Care’ report either, nor amongst the millions of words written before and since the report was even published.
In fact, you would struggle to find any mention of this particular incident, which appears to be connected to an article published in September 1997, by Guardian Journalist, Nick Davies.
A paragraph taken from the article, clearly illustrates the climate that was accepted as being ‘normal’ in certain residential homes in Wales, highlighting the ‘Culture of Bullying’ that existed in care homes like Bryn Estyn in particular.
“The place was rife with perverts.”
That ‘particularly frail boy’ mentioned in the Guardian article, who endured, undoubtedly with many others, what I could only describe, as months of ‘torture,’ during his time at Bryn Estyn.
*Which the incumbent staff, did little to curtail, according to the accounts of the ex-residents who were prepared to speak about it.*
He was also one of the two men who initially reported the abuse that had been happening in north Wales, ultimately leading to the enquiry that made headlines around the world.
His experiences, also add credibility to the rumoured ‘acts of bestiality’ described by Anne Clwyd MP, after reading parts of the Jillings Report, which was commissioned in 1996.
*A report, which has still not been released in it’s entirety, regardless of what some people are saying online.*
It would have been impossible for him however, to have been able to give, what could have been crucial evidence to the Waterhouse Tribunal.
Sadly, he had taken his own life on the 6th of January 1994, almost a full three years before the Inquiry began.
He hanged himself from a door following many years of gruff and alcohol abuseand after serving a six month sentence for an attack on the person he had instantly recognised, as the one who had terrified and tortured him at the Bryn Estyn Childrens Home.
He had seen him, some years after leaving Bryn Estyn, later returning to the squalid flat where his tormentor was now living, and struck him three times across the face, slashing open his nose, with what was described as ‘a large sword’.
The man who had made his life ‘a living hell’ for years however, was never convicted, or appeared before a court, nor was he even named in any of the reporting media outlets.
His identity has remained hidden for more than twenty years, stored safely away in a court archive, or on a long-closed file tucked safely away, somewhere in north Wales.
His name therefore, couldn’t be found among the pages of a very rare, self-published book, written by the brother of a man he had driven to the point where he would take his own life, I wouldn’t have thought.
*Not only did this person torment, bully and abuse this man and undoubtedly many others, he also managed to get one of his victims sent to prison, even claiming ‘Compo’ from CICB after being attacked by him*
To be continued….