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Lost in Care - Report


Was there a paedophile ring?


  52.01  The question whether a paedophile ring existed in North Wales was raised at the outset of the major police investigation in the letter of 17 July 1991 from the County Secretary of Clwyd to the Chief Constable. In that letter, after dealing with the four lists of persons that accompanied it, the County Secretary said:

    "I understand that when your officers investigated the case against (A) they were, at one stage, concerned as to the existence of a paedophile ring in North Wales.

    This question exercises my mind greatly and I believe it will be a matter of equal concern to you.

    A perusal of the contents of the list of individuals will immediately demonstrate that there are an overwhelming number of links back to the former approved school, later residential care home at Bryn Estyn which has now closed. It may, of course, be nothing more than coincidence but if it is coincidence then it appears to be an extremely high level of coincidence."

  52.02  We have no doubt that the police did have this question firmly in mind throughout the investigation. There was, in reality, no danger that it would be forgotten because of its obvious importance and the fact that it was raised from time to time in newspaper articles and by individuals such as Councillor Malcolm King. The latter, for example, produced in July 1992 a list of the names of 11 boys alleged to have attended a party with nine male paedophiles and he raised questions touching upon an alleged paedophile ring at the meetings in December 1992 and February 1993, which are referred to in paragraph 51.75 of our report. Moreover, on 27 September 1992 the Observer newspaper published an article by a journalist, Brian Johnson Thomas, in which allegations were made about the existence of a paedophile ring that included several policemen.

  52.03  Detective Superintendent Ackerley gave evidence to the Tribunal that all these allegations were investigated by the police as they arose but that no evidence of any substance could be obtained to support them. Most of the persons named by Councillor King were seen (six of the boys had already been seen and were re-interviewed) but the "overwhelming tenor" of the replies was that no party of the kind alleged had taken place; and that many of the persons on the list were not known to each other. Councillor King told the police that he had received the list from Dean Nelson, who in turn had allegedly received it in the form of a sworn affidavit from a former Bryn Estyn resident; but, when Nelson was asked about the matter on 22 December 1992, he told Ackerley that he had never received such information about a party attended by homosexuals. As for the author of the Observer article, he did not have any evidence to substantiate either the headline or the contents of the article.

  52.04  Ackerley dealt also in his evidence with the suggestion that there was a paedophile ring at Bryn Estyn, pointing out that the alleged victims of Howarth and Norris were clearly distinct types in terms of their ages and other characteristics. His recollection was that only two complainants from that community home had alleged that more than one offender had been involved in a particular incident. With full particulars before him he could have added that no one alleged abuse by Howarth and Norris in each other's presence and only five out of 48 complaints of sexual abuse at Bryn Estyn alleged that they had been abused by both men. Ackerley concluded, therefore, that if the alleged paedophile ring involved victims being passed from one offender to another at Bryn Estyn, the evidence obtained by the police did not establish that that had occurred.

  52.05  The difficulty about dealing with this question satisfactorily is that a paedophile ring may exist in many different forms and that the range of its possible activities is also wide. One cannot formulate easily, therefore, an umbrella definition that will withstand academic scrutiny and lay persons are likely to have widely varying concepts of the meaning of the phrase. Counsel for the North Wales Police, Andrew Moran QC, suggested that, for those who have continued to allege that such a ring existed in and around Wrexham in the 1970s and 1980s, an appropriate definition would be "a group of pederasts known to each other, who habitually exploit children for sexual gratification by passing information and the victims themselves around the group". Witness B[837], who was the principal source of allegations that such a ring existed, suggested a similar definition, namely, "a group of men who knew one another, who shared a common sexual interest in boys and who shared the boys they succeeded in abusing".

  52.06  This is not the place for legal sophistry and we are content to accept these definitions as sufficient in the context of this particular case and to discuss the relevant evidence on that footing. There are, however, some wider matters of public concern, such as the recruitment of paedophiles, to which we will refer in the course of our discussion.

  52.07  We should say at once that no evidence has been presented to the Tribunal or to the North Wales Police to establish that there was a wide-ranging conspiracy involving prominent persons and others with the objective of sexual activity with children in care. Equally, we are unaware of any evidence to establish that there was any coherent organisation of men with that objective. What we discuss hereafter in this chapter is whether there were groups of men, known to each other and associating informally, who did prey on children in care together and individually for sexual purposes during the period under review.

  52.08  Bearing in mind that the main (but not sole) source of evidence on this subject before us has been witness B, this subject is most conveniently discussed under the following heads:

    (a)  Paedophile activity at and connected with Bryn Estyn and Cartrefle.

    (b)  Recruitment generally.

    (c)  Paedophile activity in and around Wrexham town.

    (d)  The investigation of Gary Cooke in 1979.

    (e)  The Campaign for Homosexual Equality.

    (f)  Paedophile activity on the North Wales coast.

Paedophile activity at and connected with Bryn Estyn and Cartrefle

  52.09  We have discussed the alleged sexual abuse at Bryn Estyn very fully in Chapters 8 and 9 of this report; and the allegations of sexual abuse at Cartrefle are dealt with similarly in Chapter 15[838]. We return to the subject here only for the purpose of considering whether there was any connecting thread or link between the proved offenders and whether there is any evidence that they shared victims or information about them.

  52.10  The two main paedophiles who were active at Bryn Estyn in the period between 1974 and its closure in September 1984 undoubtedly were Peter Howarth, a bachelor, who became Deputy Principal in July 1976 and remained until 31 July 1984, and Stephen Norris, who was a houseparent at Cedar House for just over four and a half years (with his wife for the first three years) before becoming Senior Housemaster in charge of Clwyd House from about September 1978. Almost all the offences committed by Howarth took place in his flat at Bryn Estyn from 1974 onwards whereas Norris' known offences began when he assumed responsibility for Clwyd House and continued at Cartrefle from December 1984 until about June 1990. In his case the offences were committed in the shower blocks at both premises, in bedrooms there and on occasions when he took victims to his smallholding at Afonwen in Clwyd.

  52.11  We have not heard any evidence of a significant association between Howarth and Norris, even though they were both members of the care staff at Bryn Estyn. On the contrary, the evidence has indicated that there was a mutual antipathy between them. There has been no suggestion, as far as we are aware, that Howarth knew of Norris' offences. As for Norris himself, he may have had suspicions about Howarth's activities, like some other members of the Bryn Estyn staff, but the evidence before us does not establish that he knew that Howarth was committing sexual offences against residents.

  52.12  We have looked particularly for any evidence that other men (or women) were present when sexual offences are alleged to have been committed by either man. In the case of Howarth this was alleged by a small number of witnesses. One complainant, whose evidence was read to the Tribunal because he could not be traced, said that he was the victim of a serious joint indecent assault by Howarth and Paul Wilson in the former's flat whilst he was a resident at Bryn Estyn between March 1981 and June 1982; but both Howarth and Wilson were acquitted by a jury of this alleged offence on 8 July 1994.

  52.13  Another person who was alleged by complainants to have been present in Howarth's flat when offences were committed and to have participated in them is Gordon Anglesea. However, as we have explained in Chapter 9, a civil jury found (in effect) that he had not been involved in sexual misconduct at Bryn Estyn and we have not received persuasive evidence to justify us in reaching a different conclusion.

  52.14  In relation to Norris there has been no acceptable evidence that anyone else participated in or witnessed any of his offences at Clwyd House or Cartrefle, nor has it been suggested that anyone else was present in the same place at the smallholding when he committed them. One complainant, however, whose evidence was read because he failed to appear several times to give oral evidence, did allege that on two occasions Norris took him to a very large house near Chester where he was sexually assaulted and buggered by both Norris and the occupier. This was alleged to have occurred when the complainant was resident at Bryn Estyn. He said also that, on another occasion, Norris arranged for him to be picked up by car after tea at Bryn Estyn and taken to a house in Chirk, where a big and strong man, aged 40 to 50 years, persistently assaulted him sexually, despite his attempts to resist. The man eventually gave up and made a telephone call, whereupon the complainant was driven back to Bryn Estyn by the driver who had picked him up earlier. On his return to Bryn Estyn, he was knocked unconscious by Wilson, by a punch to the face, because of his "behaviour with the man at Chirk". When he came to, he was taken to the secure unit.

  52.15  There are obviously formidable difficulties about this evidence, not least the failure of the witness to face cross-examination about it. His allegations are wholly uncorroborated, the alleged "outside" abusers and their addresses are unidentified, and the allegation against Wilson is the only suggestion of complicity by him in sexual misconduct by Norris. Other allegations made by the witness against a substantial number of persons, including sexual abuse by John Allen at Bryn Estyn, are highly dubious and, in the circumstances, we cannot be satisfied that his account of the Chirk incident and its aftermath is true.

  52.16  Similar difficulties arise about allegations made by witness B in a statement to the police, which he confirmed in part only when he gave oral evidence. The alleged abuser referred to by B, whom we will call X, has the surname of a well known and large non-Welsh family and he is said to be dead now. It has been suggested also (but not by B) that X was a friend or acquaintance of Howarth. According to B's statement to the police, X had several different motor cars and would wait for him at the bottom of Bryn Estyn Lane when he had a late pass. X would be accompanied by another paedophile now deceased and they would take B to various places. B alleged that he was buggered by X on four or five of these occasions, twice in the car in Moss Valley, once in the Crest Hotel at Wrexham and in the flat of Gary Cooke on the other occasions.

  52.17  Witness B was, however, very reserved about these allegations when he gave oral evidence, saying that, after a particular press article had appeared, his house and his car had been destroyed and he had received numerous threats: he was not taking any chances any more. He said, for example, that he knew the christian name of X but that he was unwilling to disclose it. His recollection in the witness box was that he had seen X three times, including once at the Crest Hotel. X had a young man who was his driver and this man liked people to think he was a member of X's family. B was unable to say who had told him X's name.

  52.18  Both Detective Superintendent Ackerley and Dean Nelson, a journalist to whom X had been mentioned, were asked about any further enquiries that they made to establish his identity. Ackerley said that it was difficult to identify which member of the family was being referred to: he never had anything tangible to get hold of. Nelson was more outspoken. He said that the name was mentioned to him but he never received any proper allegation about X. He added: "So far as I was concerned the X thing was a distraction. I wasn't looking into X and I never heard anything that made me think I should".

  52.19  Before leaving this subject, it is necessary to mention the evidence of one other complainant, although he was not a resident at either Bryn Estyn or Cartrefle. This witness, referred to as C in Chapter 21[839], was a resident with the Bryn Alyn Community in the Wrexham area between 1984 and 1986. In his oral evidence to the Tribunal he said that John Allen introduced him to two men with whom he had oral sex but that the identity of these men had not been established. However, he had purported earlier to identify one of them as a member of the X family by reference to a photocopied picture (one of four) produced to him by a journalist. His account had been that, whilst he was living at Gatewen Hall, he had been taken for a meal with John Allen and this man, who had paid for the meal with a gold credit card and who also had a Harrods account card. C had subsequently indicated, however, that he could not be one hundred per cent sure that his abuser was a member of the X family, and it is clear that he was referring to a different person from the man of whom B spoke.

  52.20  It is obvious on this evidence that we cannot be satisfied that any member of the X family was involved in paedophile activity connected with either Bryn Estyn or Bryn Alyn and the name has not been mentioned in connection with residents of any other community home in North Wales.

  52.21  We must add that two other names that have been linked with Bryn Estyn in connection with alleged paedophile ring activity are those of Gary Cooke and David Gillison but it will be more appropriate to discuss the evidence in relation to them later in this chapter.

Recruitment generally

  52.22  Having regard to the number of former members of the staff of children's residential establishments in North Wales who have been convicted of sexual offences against children in care, a major concern in the forefront of our minds throughout the hearings has been the question whether there is evidence of the systematic recruitment of paedophiles to the staff of all or any of these establishments.

  52.23  It is convenient to discuss this question here because the circumstances in which both Howarth and Norris were selected for posts at Bryn Estyn have been a particular cause for anxiety. Those circumstances have already been outlined in this report at paragraphs 8.03 (Howarth), 8.23 and 8.24 (Norris); and it will have been seen from those accounts that the Principal, Granville Arnold, played a prominent role in the appointments of both men. Arnold had met Howarth at Ruskin College, Oxford, and later invited him to apply for posts at Axwell Park Approved School and then at Bryn Estyn. Arnold's part in the appointment of Norris to Bryn Estyn is less clear. According to the latter, it was Arnold who suggested that he and his wife should apply for vacant joint posts there, when they visited the home from Greystone Heath for other reasons. There are some grounds for doubting the complete accuracy of Norris' recollection of this[840] but we accept that Arnold did at least encourage Norris and his wife to move to Bryn Estyn.

  52.24  We have not been able to probe Arnold's knowledge of Howarth and his reasons for encouraging Howarth to follow him to senior posts at Axwell Park and Bryn Estyn because both men died before the Tribunal was able to hear evidence from them. There is no other evidence before us, however, to suggest that Arnold had any sinister motive in encouraging Howarth to apply for the post of Deputy Principal at Bryn Estyn or to establish that he knew of Howarth's paedophile activities or tendencies at any stage whilst he was at Bryn Estyn. Our criticism of Arnold is that he was at fault in adopting such a defensive attitude in relation to Howarth and, in effect, shutting his eyes and ears to rumours about Howarth. In particular, in our view, it was a serious error of judgment on Arnold's part to condone Howarth's "flat list" practice[841].

  52.25  We are in similar but less difficulty about Arnold's reasons for encouraging Norris to move to Bryn Estyn. There is no evidence before us to suggest that Arnold had any knowledge of Norris before then or that Norris had been guilty of any paedophile activity before he left Greystone Heath; and there is no evidence either that Arnold knew later of Norris' sexual misconduct at Bryn Estyn.

  52.26  We have considered also other appointments to the staff of Bryn Estyn but there is nothing in the evidence before us that could support an inference that a paedophile ring was involved in recruitment there. The only other proved paedophile shown to have had some acquaintanceship with Arnold outside Bryn Estyn is John Allen and the evidence about this does not justify an adverse interpretation. Allen's evidence was that he first met Arnold at Axwell Park when he visited that school in the early 1970s in connection with the proposed placement of a youngster with the Bryn Alyn Community. Arnold subsequently invited himself to spend the night prior to his interview for the Bryn Estyn post at Allen's bungalow at Gresford, near Wrexham, which Allen occupied with his wife following their recent marriage. Subsequent contact between Allen and Arnold was limited to two visits by the former to Bryn Estyn, one in response to Arnold's invitation to "look around" and the other for a football match against a Bryn Estyn side.

  52.27  We have looked carefully at the circumstances of the appointments of all the other proved and suspected paedophiles who were appointed to the other residential children's establishments (including private and voluntary establishments) discussed in this report but have not found any case in North Wales in the period under review in which a convicted paedophile was appointed to such a post. The nearest case in point was that of Gary Cooke[842], who was employed at Bersham Hall for two weeks before his services were dispensed with, probably shortly before the period under review began. Cooke was later employed in 1976/1977 by the Bryn Alyn Community for over a year but this employment was in Cheshire and then Shropshire. We have no evidence that Cooke's 1963 conviction was either disclosed or known to those who appointed him then. The only foster parent now known to have had a relevant previous conviction was Roger Saint, and that was not known at the time of his initial approval[843].

Paedophile activity in and around Wrexham town

  52.28  The main witness about this activity in Wrexham, outside the community homes, was B[844], who was also the complainant who gave evidence about the investigation of Gary Cooke in 1979 and about the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, which are dealt with in the following sections of this chapter. B was in care from 15 July 1977 to 25 December 1980 and he alleges that, during this period, he was abused by no less than 20 men outside Bryn Estyn. His allegations against X and Gordon Anglesea have already been dealt with but it is necessary here to outline the circumstances in which, according to his evidence, he was abused by the other men.

  52.29  During his period in care B was resident at Bersham Hall for assessment from 2 August to 27 September 1977 and then for 20 months at Bryn Estyn until 22 May 1979. In the following 14 months he lived at various places in the Wrexham and Chester areas but he was remanded in custody on 25 July 1980 to Risley Remand Centre and then placed at Neath Farm School[845] from 7 September 1980 until his discharge from care. On leaving Bryn Estyn he was in lodgings (aged 16 years) for just over two months and again in various lodgings for about six months the following year from 4 January 1980. In between these two periods in lodgings he spent 12 weeks at Chevet Hey followed by six weeks at Foston Hall Detention Centre, from which he was discharged to a hostel in Chester, where he stayed for nearly a month.

  52.30  B's evidence about paedophile activity in and around Wrexham centred mainly on King Street, the Crest Hotel and various houses and flats, including some associated with the Lift Project. Prominent in many of his allegations were two convicted paedophiles, Gary Cooke[846] and Graham Stephens[847], and also Tom Kenyon[848], now deceased.

  52.31  King Street was not said to be a place where actual paedophile misconduct occurred. The references in the evidence were mainly to a cafe in that street, near to public lavatories, where homosexuals, including some paedophiles, would call and where acquaintance could be made with boys or youths in care, who had a pass out or who had absconded from a community home.

  52.32  The Crest Hotel was said to be a "motel" in Yorke Street, at which at least two traders attending the beast market in Wrexham on a Monday would stay and where some homosexuals would meet them on a Sunday evening.

  52.33  The Lift Project was founded in 1972 by Owen Hardwicke, a Roman Catholic priest of over 40 years standing now, and described by him as his "brainchild". He was a parish priest for 15 years before qualifying for the CQSW in 1972 and he then became a lecturer at Cartrefle College from 1974 to 1980. The object of the Lift Project, as we understand it, was to provide accommodation for homeless persons in need; it was funded initially by private donations and later by an urban aid grant. The Project owned a number of premises from time to time but eventually had only one cottage left, in Haigh Road, Hightown.

  52.34  B's evidence about Gary Cooke was that they met, before B was in care, when B was an army cadet and Cooke was an instructor based at Connah's Quay. Cooke abused him sexually on about half a dozen occasions before he went into care, at a time when he did not know what was right or wrong and when he felt that he could not tell anyone about it. Subsequently, he saw Cooke on many occasions when he was in care. Cooke would, for example, wait in a car for him in Bryn Estyn Lane when he had a pass out (often when he himself had not known in advance that he was to have a pass and had not asked for one) and it was Cooke who introduced him to numerous other paedophiles. Cooke was B's link with almost all the paedophiles whom he named, including the men who frequented the Crest Hotel on Sunday evenings and persons associated with the Lift Project.

  52.35  It is unnecessary, and would be inappropriate, to list all the allegations made by B against the men whom he has named because the evidence is insufficient, in our judgment, to establish satisfactorily that particular named individuals committed specific offences on identified occasions. In summary, B's evidence was that he was buggered on many occasions and had oral sex on others. Some of the alleged offences occurred at Cooke's flat and at the premises of persons to whom he was introduced by Cooke, including the Haigh Road cottage referred to in paragraph 52.33, where B stayed at Easter 1980. Others occurred in rooms at the Crest Hotel and some of the offences were committed in motor cars in which B was given a ride or lift. The alleged abusers included Cooke, Stephens and Tom Kenyon. B named also Huw Meurig Jones, whom B described as a friend of Cooke whom he had met at Bryn Estyn, when Meurig Jones was visiting there as a social worker, and later in King Street.

  52.36  We heard oral evidence from 14 of the 18 "other men" referred to in paragraph 52.28, including Cooke, Stephens and Meurig Jones, and the evidence of one other was read to us. Of the other three, Kenyon is dead, one was identified only by his first name and is thought to be dead also and the other could not be traced. One of the 14 oral witnesses was a social worker, unconnected by evidence with any of the "other men", who was alleged by B to have committed a lesser indecent assault upon him; but the evidence given and produced by the witness was sufficient, in our view, to refute B's allegation. All the others whose evidence we received, with three exceptions, were proved or admitted homosexuals; but they all denied B's allegations vehemently and two denied that they even knew B. Meurig Jones was one of the three exceptions: he expressly denied when he gave evidence that he was a homosexual.

  52.37  Another complainant, the witness referred to as C in Chapter 21 and in paragraph 52.19, alleged that he was the victim of abuse by Cooke. C alleged that he met Cooke in the King Street cafe, when C was living with the Bryn Alyn Community. C, who was about 16 years old at the time, was talking with friends or acquaintances when Cooke joined in the conversation: eventually C went with a friend to Cooke's flat in Brymbo, where he was indecently touched and buggered by Cooke. According to C, this happened on two occasions and on one of them another adult was present but he did not know that adult's name. If C was 16 years old when the offences were committed, the dates would have been between April 1984 and April 1985.

  52.38  Two other witnesses who gave oral evidence spoke of being abused by Cooke. One of them was in care from 10 April 1973, when he was 16 years old, until the end of 1974. According to this witness, a friendship developed between them when he attended a youth club at Gresford, where Cooke was then a team leader (prior to the army cadets). On one occasion the witness absconded from Chevet Hey and stayed at the home of Cooke's parents. He subsequently stayed for some months in Leicester with Cooke, after breaking up with his girl friend, whilst undertaking an apprenticeship and still in care. Cooke started to abuse him within a week or two of their meeting and continued to do so until the witness told Cooke that it was not what he wanted, whereupon the relationship petered out. The witness alleged also that he was abused separately by Stephens, who may not have known Cooke then. Stephens took the witness to Denmark in December 1972 and the latter's mother, with two daughters went to live with Stephens, who started to have sex with him when he was living in Bersham Hall. In his view both Cooke and Stephens took advantage of him when he was in need of friendship but he did not allege that they introduced him to other paedophiles. In 1993 he withdrew the allegations against them that he had made to the police only a short time earlier but he re-affirmed them to the Tribunal.

  52.39  The second of these other witnesses was a victim named in one of the four counts of buggery of which Cooke was convicted on 29 April 1987. This witness was 18 years old at the time of the offence in 1986 and was no longer in care, although he had been in care earlier from 1980 to 1983, at Bryn Estyn for three months in 1980 and then for nearly two years between 1981 and 1983, at Bersham Hall, where he was when he first met Cooke.

  52.40  Gary Cooke, who was born on 7 January 1951, made three written statements to the Tribunal and was extensively cross-examined when he gave oral evidence to us. His first convictions for indecent assaults on a boy were on 12 September 1963, when he was only 12 years old; and he was subsequently convicted of paedophile offences in 1980, when he received five years' imprisonment, and in 1987, when he received seven years' imprisonment. His most recent convictions were in December 1995 when he received two years' imprisonment for two indecent assaults on a male aged 18 or 19 years. Most of his proved victims were not in care at the time of his offences but, according to the records before us, two of them in respect of whom he was convicted in 1987 were in care when offences of buggery and indecent assault of one and taking indecent photographs of the other occurred. One of the counts in the 1980 indictment, which alleged buggery with William Gerry[849], then aged 14/15 years and in care, was ordered to be left on the Court file on the usual terms[850].

  52.41  Cooke has had a very varied employment career but much of it is irrelevant for our purposes and we have few reliable dates. It appears that at some point between 1972 and June 1974, after leaving the Army, he was employed for two weeks at Bersham Hall[851] but was then told by the Officer-in-Charge, Richard Leake, that his services were no longer required. He then moved to the Midlands for about two years, returning in or about 1976 to live with his mother in Llangollen. After a period of training as a nurse, during which he first became involved with the Army Cadet Corps, Cooke was employed as a care worker with the Bryn Alyn Community for over a year. He worked for a year at Marton's Camp in Cheshire until it closed (we believe in July1977) and then at Cotsbrook Hall in Shropshire[852] for a few months but gave up the work (he says) because he found commuting from Llangollen, where he was again living with his mother, to be too much of a strain. His next known employment was as an Assistant Warden at a Probation Hostel for about six months, by which time he had moved to a flat in Napier Square, Wrexham. In 1978 he applied for a post as RCCO at Little Acton and the following year for a similar post at Chevet Hey but both applications were unsuccessful. There is evidence that he was engaged in some professional wrestling at about that time but he worked also as a taxi driver in Wrexham in or about 1978.

  52.42  Cooke was detained in custody from 24 March 1980, when he was committed for trial by Wrexham Magistrates Court, and remained in prison until 23 November 1981, when he was released on parole. According to Meurig Jones, he became acquainted with Cooke in 1979/1980 when he, Meurig Jones, was taking the CQSW course at Cartrefle College, which he failed at the end of the first year. By the time that Cooke was released on this occasion B was no longer in care.

  52.43  Most of the relevant evidence in relation to the alleged paedophile ring pre-dates B's discharge from care so that less detail is necessary about Cooke's later movements and employment. It is sufficient to say that he told the Tribunal that his main employment between November 1981 and his further arrest in December 1986 was as manager of a "sex shop" in Wrexham from 1982 to 1984 and that he lived successively in a cottage at Froncysyllte and a flat at Acrefair. Cooke lived then until his arrest in 1986 in a flat in Kent Road, Brymbo, where Meurig Jones stayed with him for about a month. On his release from his second long sentence on 19 June 1991, he lived for a time at Pentre Gwyn, Wrexham and at Llay with one of the "other persons" named by B, before moving to live on the Clwyd coast. Cooke's activities were the subject of additional police investigations in 1982, 1986 (when he was fined for gross indecency with a male) and 1992/1993.

  52.44  Cooke denied all the allegations against him made by B and it is clear that there is now a very strong mutual antipathy between them. He said that he himself was sexually abused by adults when he was young and before and after his 1963 conviction; during his second prison term he underwent therapy and has benefited from it. He first met B when the latter was serving in the army cadets but there was no relationship between them. Later on, he and others observed that B would follow people into the King Street lavatories and make a bit of a nuisance of himself, usually with older men. This was at a time when B was living at Bryn Estyn. Cooke and two others approached B and told him not to do it. Cooke said that he and B did not speak to each other for a long time after this incident.

  52.45  Cooke gave little evidence about B apart from this. He recalled one occasion, (on 4 July 1978, according to the Bryn Estyn log) when B had absconded from Bryn Estyn with others and Cooke returned the absconders in his car, whereupon they were put into pyjamas to discourage them from trying to do so again. Cooke described also the circumstances in which he invited B to stay in his Napier Square flat in the summer of 1979. According to Cooke, they had not spoken for a substantial time when he saw B one day in Wrexham looking unkempt, contrary to his usual smart appearance. B told Cooke that he had left care and was living in a boarding house where the landlady was giving him a bad time. They talked and B asked Cooke whether he knew of anywhere else that B could stay. Cooke was about to be away himself and was worried about his flat being empty so they agreed that B could stay there. This was the prelude to the events leading to Cooke's 1980 convictions, which are dealt with in the next section of this chapter. Cooke was bitter about the circumstances in which he came to be convicted and said that he never had any association with B after that. He described the suggestion that he had had a sexual relationship with B as "rubbish".

  52.46  In answer to the allegations made by C, Cooke said that he did meet C in the King Street cafe but thought that C was the friend of another man. C subsequently visited Cooke's home at Brymbo but no sexual interchange occurred between them. Cooke only found out later that C was in care and, in later cross-examination, he said that C had displayed his homosexual nature openly. Of the witness referred to in paragraph 52.38, Cooke said that their sexual relationship did not begin until they moved to the Midlands and that he did not know at the time that the witness was in care. They had met as students in Wrexham and it was Cooke's first homosexual relationship.

  52.47  Graham Stephens, who is 22 years older than Cooke and who was a coal miner and shotfirer until 1980, has been a close associate of Cooke at times in the past but they are now very antagonistic towards each other. Cooke alleges that they first met when Cooke was a boy and Stephens interfered with him sexually whereas Stephens said that they met in 1973, when Cooke would have been 22 years old. Stephens gave oral evidence to the Tribunal as a serving prisoner because he was sentenced on 16 May 1997 at Mold Crown Court to 21 months' imprisonment for inciting an act of gross indecency with a boy aged 11Ö years, who was not in care at the time. Before that he had appeared in Court on six occasions between 1955 and 1988, and had served five sentences of immediate imprisonment totalling nearly 12 years, for paedophile offences against boys; but he denied that any of his victims had been in care at the time, except for a 15 years old Bryn Estyn boy whom he assaulted indecently, for which he received a suspended sentence of imprisonment in August 1972 (he said that he only learnt later that the boy was in care).

  52.48  According to Stephens, he lived in a house in Cefn Mawr, near Wrexham, where Cooke lodged with him for seven months from January 1974. Then, after a period in lodgings in Beechley Road in 1976/1977, he bought a house in Hightown, Wrexham, in June 1977, where he lived until his arrest on 11 August 1979 and where Cooke lived with him for about three months. He was sentenced with Cooke, but for separate offences from him in the same indictment, on 30 June 1980[853]. On that occasion he pleaded guilty to one offence of buggery (in the passive role) with one boy and to an indecent assault upon another boy, for which offences he received a total of three years' imprisonment. Another alleged offence against William Gerry[854] was left on the Court file on the usual terms[855]. A year or so after his release from prison following his 1980 sentence, Stephens went to live in Yorkshire, where he received shorter prison sentences in 1984 and 1988. His most recent convictions apparently stemmed from a visit to North Wales for Christmas 1995, at the invitation of a friend.

  52.49  Stephens said that he "had sex" with Cooke on only one occasion, when Stephens was in lodgings (that is, in 1976/1977). They fell out later when he was living in Hightown because Cooke threatened to say that he (Stephens) was "doing what he (Cooke) was doing to boys". Stephens arranged for Cooke to be "put out" of the house in Hightown and Cooke then acquired the council flat in Napier Square, Wrexham.

  52.50  Stephens made many allegations of paedophile activity by Cooke in the years between 1974 and 1979 and he even kept a diary latterly in which he referred to these activities (apparently with writing a book about them in mind). In his oral evidence Stephens made specific allegations about Cooke's behaviour in the lodgings, in the house at Hightown and in the flat at Napier Square. In cross-examination by Counsel on behalf of B, Stephens said that he believed that Cooke had introduced B to him by a different surname and that the meeting had lasted only five minutes. Cooke had then taken B away. Stephens admitted that he and Cooke had both had sexual relations with four named boys (not apparently in care at the time) but he denied that he had had such relations with either B or William Gerry. Cooke told him that he (Cooke) had had sexual relations with B in the army cadets.

  52.51  Cooke gave evidence to the Tribunal after Stephens. He said that he had had an "up and down" relationship with Stephens but that it had never been sexual; and he repudiated both Stephens' allegations against him and the incriminating entries in Stephens' diary that were put to him. What was striking about the evidence of both men, however, was the wide range of allegations that they made about the paedophile activities of other persons, some of whom were amongst the "other men" identified by B[856].

  52.52  Before leaving this particular topic, it is necessary to refer to two other persons, namely, David John Gillison[857] and William Gerry[858]. Gillison, who was brought up in Wrexham, was employed as a temporary houseparent at Bryn Estyn from 1 August 1974 and again from 1 March 1976 (following absence due to a road accident) before being appointed to a permanent post there as a houseparent from 1 March 1977. He was suspended in April 1979 after he had informed the Principal that he had become Treasurer of the Chester branch of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, an appointment that attracted some local newspaper publicity. Following various meetings and discussions he was then transferred to a post as craft instructor at a Wrexham day training centre from 30 May 1979 until he began the CQSW course at Manchester University in September 1981. After completing the course successfully in August 1983, he was employed as a social worker for the physically handicapped attached to the Rhuddlan area until his arrest in December 1985; and he has not been employed in social work since his release from prison in the Spring of 1988.

  52.53  We heard only one allegation of sexual abuse that may have referred to Gillison during his Bryn Estyn period but the complainant could not remember the first name of his abuser and could only give the first three letters of his surname. The abuse was alleged to have been indecent touching in a tent in the course of a camping trip and it was first mentioned much later by the complainant to a psychiatrist from whom he was still receiving treatment when he gave evidence. Gillison denied that any such incident had occurred and we cannot be sure about it in the uncertain state of the evidence.

  52.54  Witness B said that he became friendly with Gillison when both were at Bryn Estyn whereas Gillison said in evidence that they became very friendly about a year after B left Bryn Estyn. Social services records show that there was some concern in December 1980, when B was about to be discharged from care, because he went to stay with Gillison instead of at a hostel that had been arranged for him. B does not allege, however, that he was ever abused by Gillison: their friendship continued until the early 1990s and Gillison said that he was the best man at B's wedding in 1988.

  52.55  William Gerry, who was born on 28 May 1964, was a resident in all four of the main Wrexham community homes between 7 April 1978 and 2 March 1981 but his periods of admission were all short (the longest, involving three homes, was from 1 March to 21 September 1979). His last stay was for two months in Chevet Hey, ending on 2 March 1981. Prior to that he had made allegations of abuse in 1980 against Cooke, Stephens and Huw Meurig Jones. The allegation of buggery by Cooke and Stephens was a count in the 1980 indictment against both men and was ordered to be left on the file. Stephens alleged in his evidence to the Tribunal that he had seen Cooke in bed with Gerry in the flat at Napier Square but denied that he himself had had any sexual relationship with Gerry; and Cooke denied Stephens' allegation. A further allegation by Gerry and another boy of indecency by Huw Meurig Jones at the Lift cottage in Haigh Road was investigated by the police in December 1980 but no prosecution ensued. In his evidence to the Tribunal Meurig Jones denied any sexual relationship with either boy.

  52.56  According to Gillison, he met Gerry in his chapel at Cefn-y-Bedd, near Wrexham, in 1981 and they became lovers later until they both went to prison. Gillison was living in Kinmel Bay from November 1983 and Gerry travelled there to and from Manchester but their relationship deteriorated progressively. As we have said earlier, Gerry committed suicide on 1 December 1997 and we did not receive a statement from him. He alleged to the police in 1992, however, that he had been buggered by an unidentified man whilst he was at Bryn Estyn.

  52.57  The circumstances of the offences committed by Gillison and Gerry on 24 December 1985 at Jacqueline Thomas' flat at Gwersyllt have been sufficiently described in paragraphs 14.36 to 14.41 of this report and the details need not be repeated here. Of the two victims, one (G) was 16 years old and in care, living at Bersham Hall at the time; and the other (S), in respect of whom only Gerry was convicted, was about 15 years old[859].

  52.58  Gerry was further sentenced on 28 February 1994, in the Crown Court at Chester, to four years' imprisonment for four offences of indecent assault on a male person. He received a concurrent sentence of six months' imprisonment for failing to surrender to bail.

The investigation of Gary Cooke in 1979

  52.59  This investigation is dealt with separately because witness B made a number of criticisms of police officers in connection with it.

  52.60  The relevant events began on 1 August 1979, when Tom Kenyon complained to the police that a watch, a pair of jeans and some money had been stolen from him at Cooke's Napier Square flat. The following day Detective Sergeant Mon Williams saw B at the Crest Hotel and B admitted taking the articles, although he disputed the amount of the money. B was sentenced on 23 October 1979 at Wrexham Magistrates' Court to three months' detention for two offences of theft.

  52.61  At the relevant time B was staying in Cooke's flat after leaving lodgings that had been found for him in Ruabon Road[860]. Whilst there he had come across some photographs, which, (he alleged) showed young boys with men in indecent sexual acts. There was considerable conflict in the evidence before us about the number of these photographs and the persons who were portrayed in them but it is clear that some were hidden in a hollowed out book. B alleged that others were under the carpet in the lounge. He said also that Cooke, Stephens and Kenyon were among the men shown in the photographs. He himself was in some of them and he named two of the other boys in the photographs. The majority had been taken in a house in Hightown owned by Stephens and in Cooke's flat.

  52.62  B's recollection is that he handed some of these photographs to the Detective Sergeant, who later found others in the hollowed out book. Mon Williams' evidence, however, was that he went to the Napier Square flat with B and others in consequence of what B had told him and that the photographs were found there. The evidence about the events that day and subsequently is imperfect because Mon Williams had to rely almost entirely upon the notes that he made at the time. It is clear, however, that Kenyon told him that he had spent the night at the flat with B; although he prevaricated in his first interview about his relationship with B, he denied later that he had had sexual relations with B. The latter told Mon Williams that Kenyon had touched him on the knee, whereupon B had slapped him in the mouth; they had slept separately and B had told Kenyon to leave the next morning. A file was submitted to Mon Williams' supervisory officer, who advised against a prosecution of Kenyon for indecent assault on that evidence.

  52.63  Extensive investigations followed into the photographs and the circumstances in which they had been taken. Both Cooke and Stephens made partial admissions and were successfully prosecuted the following year, as we have previously related. Cooke's explanation for his part in taking some of the photographs was that he had been asked to provide them for payment by aman whom he had met in a sauna bath in Wrexham, who had a restaurant in Epsom.

  52.64  B's criticisms in this context have been directed mainly against Mon Williams. His first allegation is that he had previously been called a liar by this officer in 1978, when he was interviewed by the police as a potential witness in connection with the allegation against Paul Wilson that led to a boy (D) being transferred from Bryn Estyn to Neath Farm School[861]. B denied having seen the alleged assault but said that he began to tell Mon Williams of the abuse at Bryn Estyn, going into minor details, but the officer just told him that he was a liar. On a later occasion, when he was still at Bryn Estyn, he had begun to give the same officer more details of the abuse, but the latter had called him a lying bastard and pinned him up against the wall, saying "If you are telling me the truth, you get me the proof. You get me the evidence".

  52.65  The difficulty about these allegations is that Mon Williams is adamant that he met B first on 2 August 1979, after B had left Bryn Estyn, when Kenyon identified B to him at the Crest Hotel. Moreover, such documentary records as are still available tend to confirm that Mon Williams was not involved in the investigation of the allegation against Wilson in 1978 because it was other officers who took statements from the potential witnesses. Mon Williams said in evidence that he saw B on several occasions about the events of August 1979 and developed an amicable relationship with him. There was never any occasion when he called B a liar or pinned him against the wall.

  52.66  B's other criticisms are that (a) the investigation in 1979 was insufficiently wide and that others should have been prosecuted about the activities disclosed in the photographs and (b) fresh inquiries should have been made into them later in the course of the major police investigation when additional evidence became available. It seems that B is particularly bitter that Cooke (and possibly Stephens also) were not prosecuted for offences against him.

  52.67  We have not been persuaded that any of these criticisms by B can be upheld. It seems clear that his allegations against Mon Williams are misdirected, if there is any substance in the suggestion that he tried in 1978 to tell a police officer of abuse at Bryn Estyn. As for the 1979 investigation, Cooke and Stephens were prosecuted for a reasonably wide range of grave offences, for which they received substantial sentences of imprisonment. The evidence that B appeared in any of the photographs is disputed, although one police officer said that he did, and an additional charge in respect of B would not have added significant weight to the case. Moreover, there is nothing tangible before us to show that Kenyon or anyone else was named as an additional photographer or depicted as an abuser in the photographs. It must be added that there was nothing in the evidence then to lead on to an investigation of abuse within Bryn Estyn itself and B does not allege that he referred to it in the course of the 1979 investigation.

  52.68  Finally on the subject of B's criticisms, Detective Superintendent Ackerley said that, in the course of the major investigation that began in 1991, the North Wales Police were unable to get hold of the file relating to the 1979 prosecution. They were unclear as to what specific matters had been proceeded with and what other matters had been left on the file. It was not until the end of October 1992 that it was realised that B was making fresh allegations. Ackerley did not believe that it would be fruitful to question Cooke about B's later allegations because Cooke would not make any admissions and a prosecution could not be sustained on B's evidence alone. On the other hand, observations on and information about Cooke in 1986 had produced abundant further evidence against him, resulting in convictions in April 1987 for very serious offences, including buggery and indecent assault of a boy, aged 12 years and in care, who had been picked up by Cooke in a Wrexham cafe, and indecent photographing of another boy in care, who had met Cooke in the same way. There was a further investigation into Cooke's contemporary activities, which resulted in his convictions in 1995. Sir Ronald Hadfield, our assessor on police matters, said in evidence that he did not detect any flaw in anything that Ackerley did in pursuing inquiries into these matters.

  52.69  One other matter needs to be mentioned in the context of the 1979 investigation. Cooke's evidence was that he met Tom Kenyon only once, although another witness (not B) said that he met Kenyon through Cooke. According to Cooke, his meeting with Kenyon took place at the Crest Hotel, after he (Cooke) had been arrested and charged. Kenyon came over to him and gave him a note. In that note Kenyon apologised for what had happened but said also that, if Cooke agreed "not to say anything", he would have a word with his father[862] to ensure that things went better for Cooke in Court. Cooke told the journalist, Dean Nelson, about this letter and said that he handed the letter subsequently to the police: he sought to link it with (what he claimed to be) his early release on parole in 1981.

  52.70  The police officers who dealt with Cooke at that time deny that any such letter was handed to them. Moreover, Cooke is mistaken in his belief that he served only 18 months in custody because he was detained for the full relevant third of his total sentence, namely 20 months. It is clear also that Lord Kenyon was not in a position to influence the course of the prosecution or the decisions of the sentencing judge or the Parole Board. It appears that, if the letter was written, which remains in considerable doubt, it was an aberration of Tom Kenyon only in his embarrassing situation.

The Campaign for Homosexual Equality

  52.71  Some former officers and members of this organisation were amongst the "other men" referred to by B, some of whom were from the Wrexham area. It is a national organisation but we refer only to its Chester branch, which was set up in or about 1973, and nothing that we say in this report about "CHE" carries any imputation against the wider organisation.

  52.72  The evidence that we heard about CHE relates to the first eight years or so of its existence and we were told by one founding member that it has not existed since the 1980s. It established an office in the Bridge Street Rows and a "help line" telephone; and a witness claimed that, at one time, it had the largest membership (300) of any branch in the country. Former officers of CHE in this period and some others closely involved with it said that the organisation, including the help line, was strictly controlled and that anyone who sought to use it as a means of "picking up" under-age boys was immediately proscribed. A small number of witnesses, on the other hand, voiced strong criticism of CHE. Cooke, for example, described it in his evidence as "the most vile organisation ever thought of" and told Dean Nelson that the whole of CHE was a "pick up thing". He alleged that he threatened one of the "other men", who was a committee member of CHE, and had a physical confrontation with him because he used it to abuse a young man called David. Another Wrexham witness said that he walked away from the organisation because it was being abused by those who wanted to have sexual relations with youngsters.

  52.73  We heard some linked evidence also about clubs in Chester frequented by members of the gay community from time to time during the same period. The particular relevance of these clubs was that B alleged that he was taken along by Cooke to CHE and to the clubs, where he was introduced to several paedophiles. This led in turn to invitations to gay parties and, in at least one instance, to an invitation to stay in Cheshire.

  52.74  B's evidence to the Tribunal about the circumstances in which he went to live in a bungalow at Mickle Trafford in Cheshire owned by a member of CHE was that the accommodation was arranged for him by social services and that he was taken there by his social worker[863]. He added that everyone in the care system, including every member of the staff that he had mentioned in his evidence up to that point, assumed that he was gay ("queer") and that that was how he was treated. On his arrival at the bungalow he was sat down in the lounge and the social worker actually gave him a copy of a newspaper called Gay News to read, saying "I suggest you read that: that might help you". B went on to say that, during his stay at the bungalow, he suffered sexual abuse involving oral and anal sex from five of the named "other men"[864] and two other partly identified men. The abuse occurred mainly at the bungalow and B referred to a big party there one night, which he described as an "orgy", but he was also taken to two of the abusers' own homes and oral sex also occurred in a motor car.

  52.75  A preliminary difficulty about these allegations is that B did allege (for example, in his statement to the police on 8 February 1993) that he went to the Mickle Trafford bungalow after leaving Neath Farm School in December 1980, which was six months after the relevant social worker left the employ of Clwyd County Council. It is now clear from the documents and, in particular, the detailed typed record kept by the social worker, that B went to stay at the bungalow on 4 January 1980. The social worker's record covers the full period from 2 August 1977, when he "received the case", to 6 June 1980; and we have seen also a copy of the statutory review of B in or about February 1980.

  52.76  We are satisfied from the documents and the social worker's evidence that social services staff were concerned about B from August 1979 (at the latest) onwards because they thought that B was in moral danger. On 7 December 1979 B was collected by the social worker on his discharge from Foston Hall Detention Centre and taken to an After Care hostel in Watergate Street, Chester, where accommodation had been arranged for him; and he obtained employment as a commis chef at Chester Steakhouse, beginning on 18 December 1979, which his social worker had helped to arrange. However, he left the hostel on or about 4 January 1980 and reported to his social worker four days later that he had moved to the Mickle Trafford bungalow, where he was visited by the social worker on 14 January 1980.

  52.77  B was admitted to Chester City hospital on 26 January 1980 following an "overdose", where he was visited by the social worker on 28 January 1980. B would not discuss the reasons for his overdose. On the latter date he was discharged, after being referred to the psychiatric out-patient clinic at Chester Royal Infirmary. The review stated that this was for "treatment to help him accept his possible homosexual nature".

  52.78  It seems that B obtained lodgings in Acrefair, near Wrexham, on his discharge from hospital but a report by a senior social worker in the Delyn Area team for Mold Crown Court in September 1980 stated:

    "From this point (that is, his discharge from hospital) B started an almost nomadic existence, moving from one lodging to another in Chester, Wrexham, Rhyl and Flint areas, often staying for just a few days, and making repeated appeals to his Social Worker for help in finding accommodation and for money to pay for lodgings. It was very difficult to keep track of his movements and to find him accommodation. B consistently refused offers to return to residential care and would not co-operate in the efforts that were made to establish him in a stable job and accommodation. He made extreme demands on the time and energies of his Social Worker and other social services staff."

  52.79  In the light of this evidence we are satisfied that B's allegation that hissocial worker arranged for him to stay at the Mickle Trafford bungalow is incorrect. We have no difficulty in accepting, however, that he was subjected to sexual abuse repeatedly by several persons during his stay there, despite the denials of those whom he named as his abusers. It is clear also, in our view, that that abuse was, at least, a major cause of the overdose that he took on26 January 1980.

Paedophile activity on the North Wales coast

  52.80  We heard only a small amount of evidence about this and it was less obviously linked with young persons in care at the time, but it merits a mention here.

  52.81  The main focus of such evidence as we received was upon the 15/20 Club, owned by Albert Dyson[865], a native of Rhyl, from about 1960 to 1980. It was described by several witnesses as a gay club and Dyson himself told the Tribunal that it was a gay venue on Saturday nights, organised by a Rhyl group, during the last 18 months to two years of its existence.

  52.82  Dyson befriended the family of the boy referred to as D in paragraphs 10.15 to 10.19 of this report and was convicted in June 1980 of three offences of indecency against him committed when he was in care and living at Bryn Estyn. Dyson used to collect D from Bryn Estyn for week-end leaves and the latter worked at the club at times in the late 1970s. Dyson said that there was only one offence and that it occurred early on during D's period at Bryn Estyn, that is, in late 1978.

  52.83  Amongst visitors to the 15/20 Club on occasions were David Gillison, Huw Meurig Jones and a prominent one time officer of CHE but we have not received any evidence of paedophile activities in the Club. Both Gillison and Cooke were questioned closely about their activities in the Rhyl area in more recent years but both denied knowingly associating with any persons in care.


  52.84  Although much of the evidence that we have heard about the existence of a paedophile ring has been tarnished in one way or another and the evidence of B has been demonstrated to be incorrect in some respects, the cumulative effect of all the evidence has been to satisfy us that, during the period under review, a significant number of individual male persons in the Wrexham and Chester areas were engaged in paedophile activities of the kind described by B. Whilst we have no reason to doubt the evidence given to us by some office holders of the Chester CHE that precautions had been taken to prevent abuse of the organisation, it is clear to us that some of its less reputable members or habitue«s saw it as a useful agency for identifying and contacting potential victims. These and other individuals were targeting young males in their middle teens and it was inevitable that some young persons in care should be caught in their web. The evidence does not establish that they were solely or mainly interested in persons in care but such youngsters were particularly vulnerable to their approaches for emotional and other reasons; and the abusers were quite prepared to prey on such victims, despite the risks involved.

  52.85  Many, but not all, of these paedophiles were known to each other and some of them met together frequently, although there were strong antagonisms between individuals from time to time. Inevitably, some information about likely candidates for paedophile activities was shared, expressly and implicitly, and there were occasions when sexual activity occurred in a group. We accept that B himself was one of the victims of these activities as a whole. As he said in his oral evidence to the Tribunal "The way I see it, I was a slave; I was sold. Yes, I was given money; yes, I was given things".

  52.86  We have concentrated our attention on evidence relating to children who were in care at the time, having regard to our terms of reference, but we have necessarily heard some evidence about others who were on the fringe of the care system, that is, children who were later committed to care and youths who had recently been discharged from care. In our judgment, the perils for such persons are as great in this respect as for those actually in care and our findings emphasise the importance of continuing support by social services for those who are discharged from care.

  52.87  We draw the attention of Parliament also to the abuse suffered by B between the ages of 16 years and 18 years, in circumstances which appear to have made him question his own sexuality for a period. Much of the later abuse was not inflicted by persons in a position of trust in relation to him and there can be no doubt that he was significantly corrupted and damaged by what occurred.

  52.88  To the extent that we have indicated we accept that there was an active paedophile ring operating in the Chester and Wrexham areas for much of the period under review. The evidence does not establish, however, that there was a conspiracy to recruit paedophiles to children's residential establishments or to infiltrate them in some other way. Although there have been one or two allegations that individual members of residential staff arranged for a child to be provided to an outsider for sexual purposes, the evidence in support of these allegations has been far from satisfactory and we cannot be sure that they are true.

  52.89  Counsel for B invited us to infer that a senior member or senior members of Bryn Estyn staff knowingly allowed him to be abused by paedophiles, particularly Cooke. This inference was to be drawn, Counsel said, mainly from the circumstances in which B was granted passes freely and Cooke would be waiting in the lane to meet him[866]; but we do not consider that that inference can safely be drawn.

  52.90  In reaching our conclusions we are conscious of the difficulty of prosecuting individuals for specific paedophile offences alleged to have occurred many years ago on the testimony of the complainant alone or with the aid of only vulnerable corroborative evidence. It is for this reason that we have not named the "other men" referred to by B but we are firm in our own conclusions.

837   See paras 9.05, 9.32 to 9.34 and 51.55. Back

838   See particularly paras 15.07 to 15.14 and 15.22 to 15.24. Back

839   See paras 21.31 to 21.33. Back

840   See para 8.23. Back

841   See paras 8.12 to 8.16. Back

842   See paras 52.40 and 52.41. There is a perturbing suggestion, outside the scope of our inquiry, that Cooke's paedophile inclinations were known to at least one senior probation officer when he was appointed later to be Assistant Warden of a Probation Hostel in Clwyd. Back

843   See Chapter 25 and, particularly, paras 25.12 to 25.19. Back

844   See footnote 17 to para 51.55. Back

845   In West Glamorgan. Back

846   See para 2.07(4) and (6). Back

847   See para 2.07(4). Back

848   Tom Kenyon had no previous conviction for a paedophile offence but was convicted at West London Magistrates' Court in September 1981 of persistently importuning for an immoral purpose in a public place and in September 1989 of committing an act of gross indecency with another male person unknown. Back

849   See para 2.07(6). Back

850   Not to be proceeded with without the leave of the Crown Court or the Court of Appeal Criminal Division. Back

851   See para 13.07. Back

852   See para 4.23. Back

853   See para 2.07(4). Back

854   See paras 52.52 to 52.56. Back

855   Not to be proceeded with without the leave of the Crown Court or the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division. Back

856   See paras 52.28 and 52.36. Back

857   See para 2.07(6). Back

858   See para 2.07(6). Back

859   See para 14.35. Back

860   See para 52.45. Back

861   See paras 10.15 to 10.19. Back

862   See para 50.45. Back

863   The social worker referred to in para 52.36. Back

864   See paras 52.35 and 52.36. Back

865   See para 50.04. Back

866   See para 52.34. Back

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Prepared 15 February 2000