There are more than a few people who are going to be very nervous now, as news of a man, who’s name has been rumoured for more than thirty years to have been associated with child abuse in north Wales, has been arrested…… again.
Retired North Wales Police Chief Gordon Anglesea, who in 1994, successfully sued The Observer, the Independent on Sunday, the satirical magazine Private Eye and HTV, the holder of the ITV franchise in Wales.
For linking his name with child abuse.
He was awarded more than £375k.
His legal costs of over £1.5M were underwritten by the Police Federation.
Gordon Anglesea is the 18th person arrested by officers from Operation Pallial, who are investigating claims of sexual abuse at 18 care homes in the region between 1963 and 1992
A retired police chief has been arrested on suspicion of the sexual and physical abuse of care-home boys aged as young as eight.
Former North Wales superintendent Gordon Anglesea, 76, was questioned over allegations that seven children were assaulted between 1975 and 1983.
Mr Anglesea – a Rotary Club member and Freemason – was quizzed in December as part of the probe.
He is now on bail.
A Rotary Club spokeswoman yesterday said: “Gordon Anglesea has been granted leave of absence until the end of April. We are not able to comment further.”
And the secretary of the North Wales Province of Freemasonry Peter Sorahan said: “In view of the fact Operation Pallial is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment.
“We welcome transparency in every aspect of such investigations.”
Mr Anglesea, who lives with his wife, 65, was a policeman for 34 years and worked as an inspector in Wrexham between 1975 and 1983.
He became a superintendent and retired in 1991. On Monday outside his home in Old Colwyn, North Wales, he said: “I have no comment to make.”
Last month, a National Crime Agency spokesman said:
“Officers arrested a 76-year-old man on suspicion of a number of physical and sexual assaults.”
“The offences are alleged to have taken place against seven boys, between 1975 and 1983, when they were aged between eight and 16.”
The following day the NCA said the man had been bailed until April.
To date, one person has been charged with a large number of serious sexual offences.
The NCA launched Operation Pallial in 2012. It is one in a string of probes into abuse claims in North Wales care homes.
In 2000 the Waterhouse Inquiry was opened to look at allegations in ex-council areas Gwynedd and Clwyd since 1974.
Eight people were prosecuted, seven of whom were convicted.
And in July, the Jillings Report was published – 17 years after it claimed officers and other professionals could have been potential “perpetrators of assaults”.
It had been blocked by the former Clwyd County Council because insurers feared compensation claims.