It appears that questions/accusations are starting to be aired on various blogs, social networks and forums, in regard to Operation Pallial only focussing on abuse that occurred in North Wales.
The latest series of arrests have also been called into question, as it has also been alleged that these should have been addressed during the original investigation by the North Wales Police.
I believe that this time, the investigation is being led by statements from genuine witnesses, who previously, for whatever reason, have not had the opportunity of speaking out, and who’s only incentive is to see the real guilty parties punished and justice finally being served.
Why would I say that?
Maybe the following paragraphs, transcribed from ‘The Secret of Bryn Estyn’, may help.
RECORDING OF A CONVERSATION WITH JOHN DAVIES ON 22 FEBRUARY 2000 AT 1:15 PM
“Whilst I was in the queue at Somerfields supermarket in X, I recognised a person in the next queue but was not sure of his name. I noticed that he recognised me too and he came over to me when I was at the kiosk and said ‘Liz’ and reminded me that he was John (a resident of Bryn Estyn in the early 1980’s when I worked there as a Residential Child Care Officer). He asked me how I was and he said he’d like to talk to me outside and would wait for me to finish in the queue. When I went out he called me over and invited me to sit in his car as I was obviously cold. I got into a top of the range Land Cruiser.
John told me how he had ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ and said he had received £91,000 and still had to go for a further medical before the last instalment would be released. He said that he had alleged that he’d had ‘the arse shagged off me’ and ‘as we didn’t jump on the bandwagon until later it was easy because so many statements had been made and people convicted’.
When I asked who he meant by ‘we’, he said Jack O’Neill, ‘but that Jack O’Neill had actually been abused elsewhere’. He said that John Smith Solicitor had dealt with everything for him as he had all his life.
He wanted to know how I was and Rob Jones and Dave Birch in particular and said if there was anything he could do to help he would. I said it was obviously difficult for Dave Birch as he was one of the 28 named in the press as a danger to children and he again asked me to let him know if he could do anything in support. He said that he thought we had been very good to him at Bryn Estyn and Birch in particular….. He said that he hadn’t believed what Birch had been accused of in court and he thought that Bryn Estyn had been a great place. He said it was ‘doing his head in’ reading about it in the papers and none of it appeared the same as his memories. He said I must be finding it difficult as some people think all who worked there were perverts and all the boys, had been ‘shagged rotten’. He didn’t want anybody thinking that of him. He said he thought ‘they’ll destroy you in work’, and if there’s anything he can do to help he will.
I asked him if he’d seen the ‘Lost in care’ report and said that if it would help he could come and see the office copy. He said he didn’t want people seeing him come into our offices and I said if he phoned my direct line I would meet him and take him straightaway into one of the rooms which are also used by housing and the registrar. He wanted my home phone number but I told him how, obviously, I was very wary of people and their motives these days and only gave him my work number. I told him that he could phone anytime as he said it helped to talk to someone who knew the truth.
He went on to ask if I thought all the abuse alleged against Peter Howarth had occurred. He said he didn’t think so and how everyone used to fight to get on the flat list but he was never allowed.
I said that was because he was so naughty and he agreed….
He gave me his mobile phone number and asked me to give it to Dave Birch and tell him to phone him to see if he could help. When I said I needed to go as I’d only popped out for two minutes to get my lunch he said, ‘Yes you’d better go, you never know who’s watching with a camera these days.’
So, taking that into consideration, assuming at least part of it is true, and it being only one example of many, many similar ‘anomalies’, some entirely new questions almost certainly need to be asked.
I must also assume that any new investigation into historic child abuse allegations in North Wales, especially in relation to the Bryn Estyn Children’s Home may prove to be very uncomfortable indeed, for certain people who were involved in the original investigation.
On both sides….
“Where there is an original doubt, however insignificant it may appear, questions will always remain” – Jimmy Jones
“One of the factors, however, which makes this modern witch hunt uniquely terrible is that it has claimed, and continues to claim, two sets of victims.For it is not only those who are falsely accused who suffer anguish and misery.
Among the other victims are all those who genuinely have been abused.
Because of the high number of false allegations which have been made in the last thirty years, the veracity of almost all allegations of abuse may begin to be called into question. As a result many people who have made truthful accounts of having been abused in children’s homes, of rape, or of incest, may find that they are disbelieved or may fear that they might be.
They may feel, in consequence, that they have been robbed of their own integrity and their own history.
That, too, is a tragedy and we should not underestimate the distress which such disbelief can cause.”
Richard Webster (1950 – 2001)