THIS BOOK, WHICH RELATES to one of the most extraordinary stories in recent British history, deals with many subjects. But it is, in the first place, a book about allegations of sexual abuse, and about the consequences for individuals and for society when a large number of false allegations are taken to be true and ratified... Continue Reading →


EARLY IN THE MORNING of 15 March 1992, 40 police officers took up their positions in various streets in and around Wrexham in North Wales. As Dawn broke they swooped down on their suspects and arrested sixteen men and one woman. All but one of these had once worked at Bryn Estyn, a care home... Continue Reading →


AT FIVE O'CLOCK in the afternoon of Saturday 30 November 1991, Ian Jack was sitting at the editor’s desk in the offices of the Independent on Sunday. The paper’s deadline – the time it had to be sent electronically to its various print sites – was 5.30pm, though often this was stretched to 6pm. Most... Continue Reading →


DEAN NELSON, THE FREELANCE JOURNALIST who had been entrusted with the North Wales story, had started his career as a television news reporter. He had worked for New Society and Channel 4 and had already done some work for the Independent. One of the stories on which he had built his reputation as a crusading... Continue Reading →


IN THE AUTUMN OF 1991, as Dean Nelson embarked on his second investigation into care homes in Wales, the Tŷ Mawr inquiry had only recently began to hear evidence. The inquiry was still in session when his article about Bryn Estyn and Tŷ'r Felyn appeared in 1 December 1991. Had the Tŷ Mawr report already... Continue Reading →


ALISON TAYLOR BEGAN HER PLACEMENT at Bryn Estyn on 15 March 1982. As a mature student with five years experience of residential care, she was given a wide range of duties. This meant that she had every opportunity to observe the workings of the home both through the eyes of the staff and of the... Continue Reading →


WHEN ALISON TAYLOR HAD completed her placement at Bryn Estyn and her CQSW course at Cartrefle College, she returned to the authority which had seconded her - Gwynedd County Council. In August 1982, she took up a post at Tŷ Newydd, a small care home on the outskirts of Bangor, where she became non-resident officer-in-charge.... Continue Reading →


THE DISCIPLINARY WARNING which Taylor was given about the magistrates' visit was not the only rebuke she received. Some idea of the range of complaints made against her during this period is conveyed in a letter sent to her in July 1985 from the county personnel officer. It had been written in response to complaints... Continue Reading →


IN THE STATEMENT she made to DCS Owen on 26 March 1986, Alison Taylor reported an allegation she said had been made by a 16-year old boy, Peter Harbour, Then a resident of Y Gwyngyll, a small children's home at Llanfairpwll in Anglesey, he had supposedly been subjected to persistent assaults by Nefyn Dodd and... Continue Reading →


MOST OF THE COMPLAINTS brought forward by Mrs Taylor at this time were of physical abuse. But there were also some hints of sexual impropriety. These, relating principally to a former resident of Bryn Estyn, would gradually develop into serious allegations. In a number of respects, they prefigured what was to come. The allegations emerged... Continue Reading →

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