Peter Norman Howarth born in Doncaster, Yorkshire
1940 21st August
Bryn Estyn acquired by a board of trustees following the decision to re-purpose the Bryn Estyn estate as a ‘Home Office Approved School’ taking in boys from Merseyside and North Wales
1943 17th September
Bryn Estyn opened officially as a Home Office Approved School. Mr Harold James Bennett and Mrs Eileen Bennett appointed as Headmaster and Matron
Gordon Anglesea joins the Cheshire Police Force as a rookie following his demob from National Service.
1957 July 3rd
An open air swimming pool officially opened at Bryn Estyn Approved School by the Rt Hon Viscount Tenby after being built in part by the boys at the school
Peter Norman Howarth and Granvile Bernard ‘Matt’ Arnold meet as Ruskin College, Oxford where Arnold was working as a part-time lecturer
- Michael John Carroll (aged 18) convicted of indecent assault against a 12-year-old boy in his care at St Edmunds Orphange, Wirral.
- Peter Norman Howarth teaches at Axwell School, Gateshead under Head Teacher Matt Arnold
- Mr Harold James Bennett retires after 26 years. A Mr David Ursell took over as headmaster
- Gordon Anglesea starts work as a police officer. He later resigned following a marriage breakdown and joined Flintshire constabulary.
John Ernest Allen took out a 21-year lease on Bryn Alyn Hall, near Llay, Wrexham complete with 50 acres of land, which was opened to house ‘difficult’ children from 42 different local authorities.
1971 15th March
An inquiry held into a complaint against David Ursell, the Headmaster of Bryn Estyn School concerning methods of discipline.
David Ursell suspended following a number of complaints regarding the way he instilled discipline at Bryn Estyn Approved School
Peter Burton takes over as headmaster.
Bryn Estyn Approved school Headmaster Peter Burton, along with his wife and seven-year-old son were tragically killed in a road traffic accident near Crewe, Cheshire. The Deputy headmaster of Bryn Estyn was also killed in the accident.
Granville Bernard ‘Matt’ Arnold made head of Bryn Estyn Children’s Home, taking over from the acting Headmaster Brynley Goldswain
Bryn Estyn Approved School becomes a local authority ‘Community Home with Education’
Peter Howarth appointed third-in-charge at Bryn Estyn School
Alison Taylor made deputy officer-in-charge at Tŷ’r Felin, Bangor
Peter Morrison elected as Conservative MP for Chester following the general election
Gordon Anglesea become Chief Inspector at Ruabon, Nr Wrexham.
Gordon Anglesea promoted to Inspector in Wrexham and in 1978 becomes responsible for the Bromfield area which includes the Bryn Estyn School
1976 6th January
Anthony David Taylor was convicted at Talgarth Magistrates Court on two offences of indecent assault upon boys staying at the Bryn Alyn Community. He was fined £20 for each offence.
1976 11th January
The body of 15-year-old schoolgirl Janet Coomis was discovered in fields near to Gwynedd School in Flint. She had been raped, both anally and orally before being strangled. 18-year-old gypsy Noel Jones was convicted and imprisoned for twelve years for the killing.
1976 19th January
Peter Ashleigh Watts, aged 15, from Colwyn Bay, was on his way to Chester to meet a friend. He never arrived, and was found some hours later on a street near Euston Station, London, dying from internal injuries and a skull fracture. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. It was noted that his clothes had been changed, they did not even fit him and it was found that his body had been scrubbed clean. The case was never solved.
John Allen buys White Sands Hotel which he ran for about six months intending it to be a training facility for older boys. Later it became Gwasted Hall, where he also lived
- Haydn Jones, officer-in-charge, Tŷ’r Felin, leaves. Alison Taylor made acting officer-in-charge
- Nefyn Dodd (Bryn Estyn 1974-77) made officer-in-charge, Tŷ’r Felin
Darren Laverty (aged 10) remanded to Tŷ’r Felin for 21 days after appearing at Holyhead Magistrates Court, charged with stealing money from electricity meters from the estate near where he lived.
Gordon Anglesea marries divorcee Sandra following the breakdown of his own marriage to the mother of his two eldest sons, following disquiet among his senior colleagues concerned about the use of a police house intended for married couples
Maurice Matthews appointed as Deputy Principal of Bryn Estyn Community School
1977 27th September
Steven Messham was sent to Bryn Estyn School where he remained for the next twenty months.
- Gordon Anglesea sets up a Home Office Approved Attendance Centre, which was based at St Joseph’s Catholic High School in Wrexham
- Michael John Carroll takes up a post as deputy officer in charge of Angel Road childrens home, Lambeth, London.
Robert Henry Chapman aged 16, a former resident of the Bryn Alyn Community fell to his death from a bridge.
Robert Arthur Smith, a former resident of the Bryn Alyn Community, took his own life, aged 16 by taking an overdose of painkillers.
1978 31st July
The Venture, originally Wrexham Adventure Playground Association (WAPA) was established in response to an extremely high crime rate and a lack of facilities in Caia Park, Wrexham, the third largest council housing estate in Wales.
David John Gillison suspended from Bryn Estyn School on full pay because he had ‘come out’ as a homosexual
Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, the son of Lord Lloyd Kenyon woke up in the Wrexham flat of Gary Cooke, to discover that his clothes and property had been stolen – by a young man who he had been having sex with the previous night. This boy, who was then two years below the legal age of consent and was supposed to have been in the care of the local authority, claimed at the North Wales Tribunal that Kenyon “had used him for sex on numerous occasions”.
Kenyon reported the theft to the police and not only named the boy he believed had robbed him, but explained quite openly that were having a sexual relationship.. Among the stolen items was, a cache of explicit Poloroid photographs of Kenyon and the boy together. A note made by the boys social worker recorded that the North Wales Police were well aware of ‘homosexual activities’ between Kenyon and the boy. The matter was investigated and the outcome was that the boy was convicted of theft and sent to a Detention Centre. Thomas Kenyon was not charged with any offence.
The photographs were later destroyed by the North Wales Police as a matter of course.
Steven Messham sent to Chevet Hey until leaving in October 1979
An 8-Bed Secure Unit opened at Bryn Estyn School to restrict the movements of some of the more troublesome boys
Gary Cooke convicted and jailed for a number of sexual offences
1980 13th May
Mark Humphreys sent to Bryn Estyn School on remand (aged 15 yrs) following being arrested for theft and after Humphreys’ family had been approached by Social Services because Gary Cooke had paid the boy to let him take indecent photographs of him.
1980 3rd June
Mark Humphreys returned to Bryn Estyn School on a Care Order
Alison Taylor leaves for a CQSW course in Wrexham College
Steven Messham leaves Glamorgan Farm School, Neath, South West Wales and returned to North Wales when his Care Order expired on his eighteenth birthday.
1981 11th July
Mark Humphreys leaves Bryn Estyn School (aged 16 years and 11 months)
Darren Richard Laverty (aged 14) placed at Bryn Estyn School where he quickly becomes the most despised resident that ever stayed there, being viewed by both staff and boys as a ‘brutal, manipulative and cruel bully’
Ex-Bryn Estyn resident Howard Hughes took a small boy into a derelict house where he “exposed himself and made indecent suggestions” before attempting to strangle his victim. Hughes was convicted of assault, placed under a two-year mental health supervision order, and committed under the Mental Health Act to St Andrew’s Psychiatric Hospital, Northampton, followed by a stay at Garth Angharad Hospital in Dollgellau, a facility for the treatment of mentally abnormal offenders. Garth Angharad was owned and run by Paul Hett.
1981 20th December
Mark Humphreys arrested for shoplifting at Wrexham ASDA and sent to Bryn Estyn School
Alison Taylor began a 10-week placement at Bryn Estyn School
Alison Taylor makes a congratulatory entry in the Bryn Estyn log book following her placement
Alison Taylor becomes officer-in-charge at Tŷ Newydd Children’s Home, Bangor.
Brendan Randles remanded to Bryn Estyn, where he spent a total of four nights.
Gordon & Sandra Anglesea’s daughter, dies aged 5 from a heart condition
1983 6th June
Darren Richard Laverty leaves Bryn Estyn and is transferred to Y Gwyngyll on Anglesey where he spent fifteen months before moving into approved lodgings
1984 22nd March
The light-bulb smashing ‘incident’ occurs at Bryn Estyn which was recorded in the school log book, and which later became the ‘Chandelier’ incident in which Peter Wynne and Darren Laverty alleged was evidence, of ‘Torture’. It was later shown that Darren Laverty had in fact, left Bryn Estyn on June 6th, 1983, so it would have been impossible for him to have witnessed the event he related so dramatically under oath to the Waterhouse Tribunal some thirteen years later
1984 23rd May
Alison Taylor called before a formal disciplinary hearing.
1984 29th May
Alison Taylor alleges an assault on a boy by Tŷ’r Felin teacher John Roberts.
- Bryn Estyn Community Home formally closes on the 30th
- Alison Taylor telephones the police to report a ‘Bump and bruise’ injury.
Detective Inspector Gregson concludes that Alison Taylor’s ‘Bump and Bruise’ allegation is unjustified.
Peter Davies, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, found dead at his home.
Matthew Arnold appointed to the Clwyd Panel of ‘Guardian At Litem and Reporting Officers’
Darren Richard Laverty formally discharged from care three months before his eighteenth birthday
A Memo circulated referring to the ‘Imminent Closure’ of Ty Newydd
1985 20th November
Graham Ennis (aged 15) suddenly moved from Tŷ’r Felin to Ty Mawr School, Abergavenny, South Wales following an allegation that he had had sex with a young female member of staff, Jane Harkness
Michael John Carroll and his wife applied to Croydon Council to become foster parents with a view to adoption, to two young boys who had been on holidays with them in North Wales. During the application process, his previous conviction for indecent assault was discovered. He was, however, to remain in his position as head of Angel Road Childrens Home, Islington, London.
1986 2nd February
An unnamed female Tŷ’r Felin resident also claims Graham Ennis had sex with Staff member Jane Harkness.
1986 4th February
Nefyn Dodd ‘clears’ Jane Harkness by telephone.
Alison Taylor takes new allegations to Wrexham Councillor Marshall
1986 20th February
DCS Owen visits Councillor Marshall and meets Alison Taylor
1986 26th March
Alison Taylor details second-hand allegations of abuse in a statement
DCS Owen finds Taylor’s complaints ‘false or unsubstantiated’
1986 22nd July
Iain Muir, deputy Headmaster of the Bryn Alyn Community School, was convicted in the Crown Court at Mold of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 16, for which he received a sentence of six months imprisonment. The victim, was resident at the school for just over three years and was 15-years-old when she left.
1986 23rd July
Adrian Birley tells DCS Gwynne Owen he was not sexually abused
DCS Gwynne Owen’s report to the Crown Prosecution Service criticises Alison Taylor
Gwynedd County Council informally suspends Alison Taylor
1986 29th December
An unnamed Ex-Resident makes more second-hand allegations, DCS Gwynne Owen fails to substantiate any of these as being true
Allegations that Peter Morrison MP joined a small group of MP’s including Michael Grylls, Neil Hamilton and Michael Brown, who took money from Ian Greer on behalf of third-party clients. During the later ‘Cash for Questions’ Inquiry, Ian Greer Associates admitted that Morrison received payments after Morrison ceased to be an MP. The Parliamentary Report in Hansard quotes Ian Greer as stating he made “Two commission payments, perhaps three, for client referrals” to Morrison between 1993-1994.
1987 13th January
Alison Taylor officially suspended from duty
1987 17th January
Alison Taylor tells Margaret Thatcher in person she herself saw abuse in North Wales
David John Gillinson imprisoned for three and a half years for gross indecency against a boy in care in North Wales. Gillinson was also prominent in the Chester branch of the ‘Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE)’
The Cleveland child sexual abuse crisis at it’s height
DCS Gwynne Owen submits second report to CPS Re Alison Taylor: ‘There is every likelihood… she will manipulate others in the future to make similar complaints’
1987 3rd November
Alison Taylor formally dismissed by Gwynedd County Council
Gordon Anglesea promoted to the rank of Superintendent in the North Wales force at Colwyn Bay
1988 28th February
Alison Taylor writes to the Health Minister, Tony Newton; Her letter described, for the first time, a brutal assault she witnessed in 1980
Nottingham ‘Satanic Ritual Abuse’ allegations start to surface
The Butler-Sloss Cleveland report published
Bryn Estyn re-opens as the ‘Erlas Centre’ and housed a number of educational and Wrexham council departments
Investigation into Frank Beck’s offending is launched
Yorkshire TV approach Alison Taylor to make film about abuse in North Wales
1989 12th September
Alison Taylor and Darren Laverty filmed extensively for Yorkshire TV
Peter Wynne attacks Darren Laverty at his squalid flat at 90 Napier Square, Wrexham, with a large bladed knife, striking him three times across the face. Laverty maintained that Wynne went there to ‘Kill Him’. Peter Wynne only received a six months custodial sentence, Darren Laverty received an undisclosed amount of compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB).
Michael John Carroll was sacked by Lambeth Council after it was discovered he had defrauded the Council by spending £300 intended for Angel Road children’s home on cigarettes and alcohol while the children at the home were often eating out-of-date food.
Yorkshire Television abandon their Gwynedd child abuse film for the Castle Hill documentary
An un-named young woman makes allegations of abuse against Frederick Rutter.
1990 15th June
An un-named male resident of Cartrefle accuses Stephen Norris of abuse
1990 5th October
Stephen Norris pleads guilty to indecency against 3 boys in his care
Gordon Anglesea retires suddenly after 34-years police service.
Paul Eccles replaced Lynne Williams as Deputy-In-Charge of Gatewen Hall, Wrexham
Michael John Carroll, after it was no longer possible for him to work with children, buys the Hand Hotel, Chirk, Nr Oswestry for £725,000 and also buys a small antiques shop near Wrexham.
1991 7th May
Yorkshire Television screens the ‘Castle Hill’ film on care home abuse
1991 24th May
Journalist Dean Nelson reports on the suicide of ex-Ty Mawr resident Leslie Clements at Swansea Prison in The Independent newspaper
1991 30th May
Publication of the Staffordshire ‘Pindown’ report
1991 31st May
Newspaper Headlines claim ‘PINDOWN VICTIMS TO SEEK DAMAGES’
Alison Taylor takes her allegations to Wrexham Councillor Dennis Parry
1991 10th June
Wrexham Labour Councillors Dennis Parry and Malcolm King hold a crisis meeting with John Jevons
1991 17th July
A ‘Paedophile Ring letter’ sent to the Chief Constable of North Wales
1991 30th July
Frederick Rutter convicted of rape and indecent assault
1991 2nd August
Police launch investigation into Clwyd care homes
1991 4th August
Darren Laverty, allegedly tipped off by Alison Taylor, tries to make a statement to North Wales police but somehow turns up at the wrong police station.
1991 8th August
Darren Laverty finally presents himself at the correct police station (Mold) and made a number of allegations he had not voiced before. He tells North Wales police that Steven Hasshim and [Carl Holden] are also victims of Peter Howarth. His statement was marked as ST1, signifying that Darren Laverty had become the North Wales police’s prime witness.
1991 20th August
Police trawl a complaint against Peter Howarth from Steven Hasshim in Cardiff, who also accused David Birch of abusing him. In that first statement, Hasshim also claimed that while he was at Bryn Estyn, he had been ‘Gang-Raped’ by a number of other residents – one of whom was Darren Richard Laverty.
Wrexham Labour Councillor Dennis Parry contacts The Independent newspaper, alleging a North Wales police ‘cover-up’
1991 12th September
Peter Wynne tells police he has experienced no sexual abuse …. “I enjoyed my time at Bryn Estyn”
1991 15th September
Police trawl an allegation against Peter Howarth from [Carl Holden]
1991 19th September
Wrexham Councillor Dennis Parry meets journalist Dean Nelson at a London hotel
1991 24th September
Steven Hasshim made ‘crowbar and spiked-dildo’ allegations against Bryn Estyn staff members
1991 26th September
HTV film shown outlining complaints about Nefyn Dodd by Alison Taylor and Darren Laverty
Simon Birley tells North Wales police he has never experienced abuse while in care in North Wales
1991 12th October
Journalist Dean Nelson meets Alison Taylor at her home in Bangor
1991 6th November
Alfred James ‘Jimmie’ McAlpine, who ran the North West operation of the Sir Robert McAlpine construction company, and was President of the Wrexham Golf Club, died at a Wrexham hospital, aged 83
1991 7th November
The Independent newspaper formally commissions Dean Nelson to report on the North Wales care home allegations.
- Alison Taylor tells Dean Nelson Peter Wynne was abused at Bryn Estyn.
- Darren Laverty telephones Paul Wilson: saying he was ‘Out to get Howarth and Doddy’
1991 12th November
Dean Nelson interviews Paul Wilson about Bryn Estyn
1991 14th November
Police warn Alison Taylor about ‘contacting witnesses’
1991 15th November
Peter Wynne tells Dean Nelson in an interview he was ‘Not Sexually Abused’, Nelson noted ‘I do not believe him’
1991 16th November
- Simon Birley, who has been in contact with Alison Taylor, tells Dean Nelson that Peter Howarth sexually abused him.
- Peter Wynne, allegedly coaxed by Dean Nelson, also accuses Peter Howarth of abuse.
1991 30th November
Frank Beck receives three life sentences.
1991 1st December
The Independent on Sunday publishes an article about child abuse in North Wales.
1991 2nd December
North Wales Police merge Clwyd and Gwynedd child abuse inquiries.
1991 6th December
- The Bryn Estyn Helpline starts, staffed by NSPCC employees.
- Darren Laverty and Peter Wynne launch a joint compensation claim against Clwyd Council, using the Wrexham based solicitor, Gwilym Hughes.
- Heath Kelvin Jones, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, found dead in his bedsit aged 18, from respiratory arrest due to solvent abuse.
- Barry Williams, a former resident of Little Acton Assessment Centre, found dead in his flat where he lived in poverty.
1992 22nd January
Brendan Randles alleges abuse by an unnamed man and in his police statement, he also told the police that while taking a shower at Bryn Estyn, Darren Laverty and two others had ‘Beaten him up‘ while being watched by a ‘Grey-Haired Man’. The next day, Randles also alleged this same man took him to the secure unit and ‘Fondled him and tried to kiss him’.
1992 23rd January
Dean Nelson returns to North Wales in an attempt to seek evidence against Gordon Anglesea.
1992 5th February
Dean Nelson faxes new Peter Wynne interview to the Independent newspaper
Darren Laverty shows Brendan Randles a photograph of Gordon Anglesea who he then names as his abuser (Randles spent only four nights at Bryn Estyn in total).
1992 15th March
Police arrest sixteen men and one woman in Dawn raids in and around Wrexham. All but one of these had once worked at Bryn Estyn. No child pornography was found and there was no evidence of any Paedophile ring. By the end of that day the police had no alternative but to release twelve of the sixteen without bringing any charges. Of the four that remained – Stephen Norris, Peter Howarth, Paul Wilson and David Birch, only Norris made any admissions. During his interview, Peter Howarth said that one of the people he believed had ‘got it in for him’ was Darren Laverty. He said that Laverty had phoned him on two occasions and had taunted him about the Bryn Estyn investigations. Laverty had asked whether he was ‘worried’ and had then ‘laughed down the phone at him.‘
1992 24th March
Ex-Bryn Estyn resident [Daniel Mead] initially tells the police he was not abused. The Police return, and Mead then makes allegations against Peter Howarth
1992 30th March
Police visit Steven Messham at home. He now alleges indecent assault
Adrian Johns, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, died along with Mabel Roberts, Paul Tony’ Jones, Tim Sharpe and Andrew Manners in a suspicious fire aged 32 in Brighton, Sussex. Two people, AIDS counsellor Mabel Roberts, 48, and Andrew Manners, 29, died from multiple injuries trying to jump to safety. Seven people managed to escape by clambering down a drainpipe at the back of the building. One, Tim Sharpe, celebrating his 28th birthday, fell to his death after losing his grip. Several people were impaled on the spiked railings as they jumped to safety from the upstairs windows. Adrian Johns, 32, and another man, Paul ‘Tony’ Jones, 33, remained trapped in the flat and died of smoke inhalation. Their bodies were so badly charred that they had to be identified by dental records.
Verdict: Unlawful killing.
1992 1st April
Steven Messham’s wife commits suicide, leaving him to care for their child.
1992 6th April
The Police visit [Gary Waite] who alleges indecent assault
1992 23rd April
Steven Messham makes a number of Bryn Estyn sick-bay allegations against Peter Howarth in which he claimed Howarth buggered him
1992 30th April
Police visit [Nick Purnell] who alleges indecent assault against Bryn Estyn staff
1992 5th May
Brendan Randles names his assailant as Peter Howarth; he now also alleges rape by Howarth and an unidentifed man.
1992 8th May
Darren Laverty admits helping Brendan Randles make abuse allegations, and makes a further admission of showing Randles a photograph of Gordon Anglesea.
1992 18th June
Dean Nelson elicits a number of vague allegations from Mark Humphreys
1992 19th June
Dean Nelson shows a photograph of Gordon Anglesea to Mark Humphreys, who now alleges both Anglesea and Howarth abused him at Bryn Estyn
1992 29th June
Dean Nelson re-interviews Mark Humphreys. He now adds rape to his earlier allegations.
1992 18th August
Mark Humphreys is interviewed by North Wales Police in London where he stated that he was sent to Bryn Estyn during the summer of 1976, and that he had spent four years there. He claimed that he had been abused by Gordon Anglesea during his second Christmas there.
1992 20th August
Steven Messham calls the police to report that Journalist Dean Nelson is harassing him. He also says ‘At no time did Gordon Anglesea ever sexually abuse me’.
1992 24th August
Steven Messham travels to London and meets Dean Nelson at his flat.
The Observer newspaper publishes an article in which Darren Richard Laverty appears to admit participating in the ‘Gang rape’ of a young girl, who was also in care in North Wales
1992 3rd September
Steven Messham complains again that he is being harassed by Dean Nelson.
1992 4th September
Steven Messham now tells Dean Nelson that Gordon Anglesea abused him.
1992 9th September
Steven Messham makes new, more serious allegations of abuse to the police.
1992 11th September
Steven Messham swears an affidavit prepared by Dean Nelson but the Independent on Sunday newspaper declines to publish the story
1992 13th September
The North Wales Care Home Abuse Story is published by The Observer newspaper on it’s front page
Dean Nelson, seeking a 3rd allegation against Gordon Anglesea, questions Peter Wynne, with Alison Taylor present, acting as a ‘Memory Prompt’
1992 17th September
Mark Humphreys and Steven Messham accuse Gordon Anglesea of sexual abuse on live TV. [Carl Holden] watches them at his Cardiff home on television and then telephones the BBC.
[Carl Holden] is visited by BBC Journalists
1992 30th November
The BBC films [Carl Holden] accusing Gordon Anglesea of sexual abuse
Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, the son of Lord Tyrell-Kenyon 5th Baron Kenyon, died of AIDS aged 39. Thomas had drifted into the low life of Wrexham where he had made his home. He drank, he mixed with groups of people who were in and out of prison and he was known to have frequented the red-brick public toilets by the bus station in King Street in the town.
Scallywag Magazine published child abuse allegations about Lord Alistair McAlpine, Tory Lobbyist Derek Laud and North Wales Police Chief Gordon Anglesea
1993 8th January
Peter Wynne tells the North Wales police of a visit by Alison Taylor and Dean Nelson.
1993 27th January
Satirical magazine Private Eye publicly names Gordon Anglesea as an paedophile and also alleges a North Wales Police cover-up.
1993 11th February
Police interview Alison Taylor about Peter Wynne, on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The Crown Prosecution Service drop the case against Gordon Anglesea, who is now suing HTV, The Independent, The Observer and Private Eye magazine.
1993 15th March
The Crown Prosecution Service concluded that: ‘Reliance ought not to be placed on Steven Messham’s evidence for the purpose of prosecuting any alleged abuser’
Nefyn and June Dodd are arrested but released without charge
1993 13th May
Steven Messham threatens to sue the satirical magazine Private Eye. He demands £60,000 in compensation.
1993 16th May
Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon aged 75, died at Redington, Shropshire after a long illness. He was Deputy Lieutenant for Flintshire in 1948, an officer of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972. He was a Provincial Brandmaster for the North Wales Freemasons.
Steven Messham meets with Ian Hislop, Editor of Private Eye and demands a new car.
1993 22nd September
Stephen Norris pleads guilty to indecent assault and buggery of 6 Bryn Estyn boys.
- Angus James Wilson, Scallywag Magazine co-founder, dies in Cyprus.
- The Crown Prosecution Service decline to bring Steven Messham’s allegations of sexual abuse against Peter Howarth to court.
1994 6th January
Peter Wynne commits suicide by hanging himself from a door at his flat in Wrexham, following a long history of drug and alcohol abuse
He is buried at Wrexham Cemetery
1994 12th January
Clwyd County Council sets up the independent Jillings enquiry.
1994 1st April
Brendan Randles is found dead at home from ‘Gross abuse of alcohol’
He is buried at Wrexham Cemetery
1994 26th May
Alison Taylor makes a statement for Gordon Anglesea’s libel trial.
1994 9th June
Granville Bernard ‘Matt’ Arnold died of an ‘unspecified blood disease’. (Which was mentioned in the Jillings Report along with the concern that the abusers put their victims at risk of sexually transmitted diseases)
1994 13th June
The trial of Peter Howarth and Paul Wilson on sexual abuse charges begins.
Richard Williams was found dead in a car aged 18. He was alleged to have suffered maltreatment whilst in care in North Wales.
1994 8th July
Peter Howarth found guilty of child sexual abuse at Chester Crown Court, and is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Paul Wilson is acquitted of all charges.
1994 31st October
Steven Messham says he won’t give evidence at Gordon Anglesea’s libel trial unless he gets paid to do so
Craig Wilson, a former Bryn Estyn resident hangs himself aged 16
1994 7th November
Private Eye magazine pays Steven Messham £4,500 as a full and final settlement of his claim.
1994 14th November
Gordon Anglesea’s libel trial opens in Court 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
1994 28th November
Paul Wilson pleads guilty to 3 counts of physical assault
1994 6th December
The Libel jury returns a verdict in favour of Gordon Anglesea.
1995 12th January
David Birch is acquitted on two sexual abuse charges.
Lee Johns, also known as Lee Homburg, a former resident of Bryn Alyn, died aged 37.
1995 2nd February
Mark Humphreys commits suicide by hanging himself from the stairs outside his Wrexham bedsit after being seen drinking heavily all that day.
1995 9th February
John Allen, of Bryn Alyn Hall, Llay, Wrexham, convicted of indecent assault against six former residents. Allen is sentenced to six years imprisonment.
1995 21st May
Simon Birley commits suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Wrexham.
1995 13th July
Sir Peter Morrison, former Conservative MP for Chester, and Margaret Thatcher’s Personal Press Secretary died in London aged 51.
- Tony Wallis, a former resident of Bryn Estyn found dead
- Pentre Saeson becomes ‘Prospects for Young People’ – housing Mentally ill children aged 8-21 and was run by Stephen Elliot.
1996 22nd February
Clwyd County Council receives the completed Jillings report and seeks legal advice
1996 26th March
Clwyd County Council accepts the legal advice given to them not to publish the Jillings report
1996 1st April
Clwyd County Council dissolved
1996 7th April-June
Using a leaked copy of The Jillings Report, The Independent newspaper runs a campaign to press for a public inquiry
1996 13th June
BBC Radio suggests abuse in children’s homes ‘may be the norm rather than the exception’
1996 17th June
Welsh Secretary William Hague announces the North Wales Child Abuse Inquiry
Ex-Bryn Estyn resident Howard Hughes (Born 9th June 1965) sentenced to life imprisonment for the double rape and murder of 7-year-old Sophie Hook at Llandudno on 30th July 1995.
Hughes was convicted only on circumstantial evidence and doubts are still voiced as to the safety of the conviction.
1996 25th October
Eighteen families were left homeless after a fire at a warehouse engulfed their houses. Eight people were taken to hospital and more than 100 residents of Lightfoot Road, Chester, were evacuated as the blaze destroyed a Pickfords storage depot on the neighbouring Hoole Bridge industrial estate. “The houses spontaneously combusted because of the intense heat,” said a Cheshire Fire Service spokeswoman.
It is believed that the warehouse held in storage, many of the care records of children from the Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn homes
Bryn Alyn Hall closes
1997 21st January
The North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal (Waterhouse) begins at Ewloe Council Offices, Flintshire
1997 24th April
Peter Howarth dies of a heart-attack at HMP Wakefield
- Ken White and David Evans open a nursery on Bryn Alyn land.
- A report claimed that Sir Peter Morrisson had been allegedly, arrested for molesting underage boys during his career as a Conservative Member of parliament but had been let off with a simple police caution
1998 7th May
The North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal holds it’s last hearing
1998 14th May
Darren Richard Laverty becomes the first person to be charged in the UK under newly introduced ‘Stalking’ laws, after he is arrested for distributing 400 leaflets alleging that a man in a North Wales village was a ‘Paedophile’
1999 30th September
The Waterhouse Report handed to the Secretary of State for Wales
2000 15th February
The North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal Report published as ‘Lost in Care’
2000 16th February
Massive coverage of the Waterhouse report in the national press, much of it featuring Darren Laverty and Alison Taylor. The latter’s vindication by Waterhouse is widely reported
2000 11th April
Alison Taylor is presented with a Daily Mirror ‘Pride of Britain’ award at a ceremony held in the Hilton, London, attended by Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair
2000 5th December
Football manager Dave Jones found Not Guilty of all charges of Paedophila and Child Abuse at Liverpool Crown Court, after the trial collapsed following witnesses failing to turn up to face claims that they had ‘invented’ their stories in the hope of winning pay-offs.
North Wales Police called in to investigate the running of NORWAS (North Wales Abuse Survivors), a charitable organization set up with public money to help people who were allegedly abused in children’s homes in North Wales. Steven Messham, the group’s Chairman was arrested and questioned over the alleged theft of the charities’ assets.
2001 2nd August
Mystery surrounds the death of Gary Cowell, aged 31 who was found dead at his Connors Quay home. Gary was an ex-resident of Bryn Estyn between 1977 and 1980 and claimed that he had been beaten and abused during his time there. The post mortem examination showed Mr Cowell had been a very fit and healthy man at the time of his death, and there was no obvious cause of death. But toxicology results had surprised the Pathologist Dr Anthony Burdge as they showed four times the lethal dose of the drug Methadone. The family and friends of Mr Cowell stated he was a keep fit fanatic, who would run every day, swim, visit a gym and was very particular about what he ate, and that they had never known him to take drugs at any time apart from ‘Body Building Supplements’.
- Richard Webster successfully defends a libel case brought by Alison Taylor in regard to a newspaper article. An out of court financial settlement is agreed upon.
- Former Conservative Junior Minister Edwina Currie, described Sir Peter Morrison MP as a ‘Noted Pedarist‘ in her book about her parliamentary life.
- The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee warned that ‘Police ‘Trawling’ activities were liable to create miscarriages of justice, and that some people had made false allegations in the hope of being paid large sums in compensation’
2002 10th April
Steven Messham appeared in court in Wrexham accused of theft, deception and false accounting. Messham was charged over the theft of £27,000 worth of assets from an organisation set up to help child abuse victims. Thousands of pounds of public money had been raised and was used to help establish the charity NORWAS, of which Messham was the Chairman.
Journalist Angus Stickler publicly criticized for interviewing Steven Messham on Radio 4 without disclosing that he was facing charges of defrauding a charity he ran for alleged victims of abuse in children’s homes in North Wales.
Richard Webster’s seminal work, the 722-page ‘The Secret of Bryn Estyn’ is published to critical acclaim.
Steven Messham cleared in court of five counts of false accounting at Chester Crown Court. He admitted, however, concealing £40,000 in personal savings, which he had been awarded in compensation for alleged abuse – when he made claims for Income Support and Housing Benefit, but insisted he had not intended to be dishonest.
Christopher Davies, aged 32, jailed for 9 years at Caernarvon Crown Court for the rape of a child, and making a false statement to obtain a passport. Davies, an ex-policeman from Northrop Hall, Flintshire, and currently working as a bodyguard in the Middle East, was convicted of plying a 14-year-old girl with vodka before raping her.
2009 10th October
AN ex-police officer convicted of raping a teenage girl is to have his case investigated by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, following a top judge’s ruling yesterday.
Christopher Geoffrey Davies, 34, of St Marys Drive, Northop, Mold, was found guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl and jailed for nine years following a trial at Caernarfon Crown Court.
But his lawyers told three judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court that information has come to light since his trial that raises concerns over the “safety” of the verdict.
The court heard that one of the jurors may have been a police officer serving in the North Wales force – where Davies had formerly been employed – and that he could have been working in the section dealing with allegations of sexual abuse made by children.
Mr Justice Sweeney, sitting alongside Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mrs Justice Slade, agreed the information merited further investigation and adjourned Davies’ conviction appeal until an inquiry by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) had been carried out.
2010 25th November
Stephen Wynne, the brother of ex-Bryn Estyn resident Peter Wynne, who suffered from Bipolar disorder, takes his own life aged 44.
He is buried alongside his brother at Wrexham cemetery.
His self-penned book of poetry ‘A Migzies Tale‘, published in 2010 describes his long personal battle with his condition, and contained a chapter about Bryn Estyn, his brothers alleged abuse, his alleged tormentor(s) at Bryn Estyn, and his tragic suicide.
Richard Webster, the author of ‘The Secret of Bryn Estyn’ dies after suffering sudden heart failure during the night. He was at his home in Oxford. His website richardwebster.net contains a large section of his published written work
Rod Richards, a former MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Conservatives, implicates Sir Peter Morrison (1944-1995) in the North Wales child abuse scandal. Richards claimed that Morrisson and another un-named high-profile Conservative politician, were named in documents as regular and unexplained visitors to the care homes involved.
Anne Clwyd MP called for the legal archive of the Jillings Report to be published, claiming that she had been shown a copy in 1994: “I would say please get the Jillings Report published because it shows …….. rape, bestiality, violent assaults and torture, and the effects on these young boys at the time cannot be under-estimated”
2012 2nd November
Steven Messham appears on the BBC Newsnight programme alleging that he was sexually abused by ‘hundreds of men’ including a senior Tory Politician.
- An ex-Care Home resident names Sir Peter Morrison on Channel4 News as a person he saw leaving the Bryn Alyn home in Wrexham.
- Ex-Bryn Estyn resident Alan Leyshon states on the BBC that he was taken from Bryn Estyn and abused by ‘People of influence’ and hinted at a ‘Masonic’ connection.
2012 3rd November
Darren Laverty appears on the Twitter social network using the name ‘Ryan Tanner,’ He begins to viciously attack Steven Messham and threaten other ex-care home residents online
Operation Pallial set up by Conservative Home Secretary Teresa May amid concerns that previous investigations into historic child abuse were not thorough enough
2012 9th November
Steven Messham makes a televised public retraction of his allegations and apologises to Lord McAlpine
2012 10th November
Director General of the BBC, George Entwhistle resigns following the Steven Messham accusations on Newsnight
2012 12th November
A 50-year old former resident of Axwell Park School, Gateshead has spoken for the first time about the ordeal he suffered at the school. He alleged Peter Norman Howarth operated a ‘Flat List’ system, that would see favorite boys singled out for late-night ‘Counselling’ at Howarth’s home, where they were made to wear only pyjamas and no underwear
2012 13th November
Steven Messham makes a plea on the BBC Wales ‘Week In Week Out’ for more historic child abuse victims to come forward
2012 14th November
Stephen Messham apparently driven ‘close to suicide‘ by an account run by Darren Laverty on the social network Twitter. According to the Slog website. “From source close to Steve… To The Slog at 1.19 am today: “Steven has named Darren Laverty, it seems this guy wants him to shut up and accuses Steve as being on take and loves the media spotlight”
2012 15th November
Channel 4 screen an interview with ex-Bryn Estyn and Bersham Hall resident ‘Michael’ where he described being taken from North Wales o a coach wit other residents to ‘Sex Parties’in London
2012 17th December
The independent investigation set up to examine specific recent allegations of historic child abuse in North Wales received information from 105 victims since beginning its work in November.
2013 January 14th
71-year-old man from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire Arrested
Operation Pallial announces that 160 new claims of historical abuse have been reported
John Ernest Allen arrested at his home in Ipswich
2013 31st July
John Ernest Allen Charged with 22 indecent assaults and one offence of gross indecency, alleged to have taken place between 1968 and 1989 at Bryn Alyn Hall, Llay, Wrexham
2013 13th June
Darren Richard Laverty attempts to sell a redacted copy of the Jillings report (following his publishing of an online video which showed his eight-year old son reading from it) on an internet auction site. Wrexham Council threaten legal action and the item is subsequently removed from sale
2013 July 19th
A 72-Year-old man from Wrexham arrested
2013 July 24th
A 61-year-old man from Chester, Cheshire arrested
2013 August 23rd
A 63-year-old-man and 60-year-old woman arrested at Seaford, Essex
2013 September 4th
A 59-year-old man from Lancaster, Lancashire arrested
2013 September 11th
A 61-year-old man arrested in Beeston, Nottinghamshire
2013 October 16th
A 53-year-old man from Connors Quay, Flintshire arrested
2013 October 16th
A 66-year-old man from St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex arrested
2013 November 20th
A 62-year-old-man from Mold arrested
2013 November 26th
A 65-year-old man from Cardiff arrested
2013 December 4th
A 69-year-old man from Maidenhead, Berkshire arrested
2014 16th January
Gordon Anglesea arrested at his home in Colwyn Bay by officers from Operation Pallial
2014 17th January
Lord Alistair McAlpine, Baron McAlpine of West Green dies in Italy aged 71
2014 19th February
Operation Pallial identifies another 37 possible suspects
2014 11th April
A 62-year-old-man from Barnsley, Yorkshire arrested
2014 12th April
62-year-old Kenneth Wheatley found dead beside Railway line in Barnsley, Yorkshire from ‘Multiple Injuries’ following his arrest under Pallial
2014 21st May
74-year-old Peter Steen charged with seven offences of assault and child cruelty and bailed to appear before Mold magistrates on 12th June.
2014 6th June
- Darren Laverty arrested at his home in Llanfair PG, Anglesey, for ‘Threatening behaviour, Intimidation, Theft and an eighteen-month online campaign of harrassment’ of an ex-care home resident and his young family
- 54-year old Marc Roy Norry from Connors Quay charged with historical sexual abuse along with a 62-year-old man from Wrexham.
- 63-year-old Mark Granger AKA Gary Cooke from Leicester charged with three counts of indecent assault and two counts of buggery.
- 71-year-old David Lightfoot of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, charged with three counts of indecent assault, and one count of attempted buggery.
- 69-year-old Edward Huxley from Maidenhead, Berkshire, charged with two counts of indecent assault.
- 61-year-old Keith Stokes from Farndon, Chester, charged with three counts of indecent assault, three counts of gross indecency, one count of buggery and one count of attempted buggery.
2014 7th July
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in England and Wales was announced by the Home Secretary Teresa May. The inquiry was established to examine how the country’s institutions handled their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.
2014 8th July
Baroness Butler-Sloss appointed Chair of the IICSA.
- Barry Strevens, a former bodyguard to Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, claimed he warned her that Sir Peter Morrison allegedly held sex parties with underage boys. Strevens said that despite passing on the allegations to Thatcher, she later promoted Morrison to the position of deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. Thatcher’s private secretary, Archie Hamilton, reportedly took notes of what was said.
- Chair of the IICSA Baroness Butler-Sloss stands down, after just six days in charge, following pressure from victim’s groups after it was revealed her brother had been Attorney General when some offences being examined by the inquiry were alleged to have taken place.
2014 24th July
Darren Richard Laverty pleads guilty to a Section 5 Public Order/Harrassment charge at Llandudno Magistrates Court, and received a 12-month Conditional Discharge and a fine for threatening a man and his young family whilst they were on holiday in the area.
2014 21st August
Kelvin Horriban, aged 62, from Bestow, Nottingham, and Keith Evans, aged 70, from the Old Rhosrobin area of Wrexham, arrested under Operation Pallial. Kelvin Horriban also faces an additional charge of assault.
2014 27th August
Wrexham Councillor Malcolm King stripped of his executive financial role on Wrexham Council, after making ‘serious allegations’ without evidence.
2014 5th September
Home Secretary Theresa May announced the appointment of Fiona Woolfe CBE to lead the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse (IICSA).
2014 10th September
Darren Laverty arrested at his home on Anglesey for continuing to harass people and for issuing threats on the Internet. He was released without charge.
2014 6th October
The second trial of John Ernest Allen on charges of historic sexual and physical abuse, begins at Mold Crown Court.
2014 22nd October
74-year-old Peter Steen appears at Wrexham magistrates court charged with physically assaulting a teenage boy in the 1980’s. This is the eighth charge he faces following his arrest. He was released on bail to appear at Mold Crown Court on 30th October.
2014 31st October
Fiona Woolf becomes the second head of the Government’s inquiry into historical child sex abuse to be forced to quit over links to key figures in the scandal – just half an hour after the Home Office said they had “full confidence” in her. Ms Woolf announced that she was stepping down after it emerged that she failed to declare that she lived on the same street as Lord Brittan and his wife and attended five dinner parties with the former Conservative minister.
2014 1st December
John Allen sentenced to life imprisonment at Mold Crown Court, with the recommendation that he serves at least 11 years.
The Erlas Centre Closes.
2015 29th January
Dennis William Jones, 65, and Aileen Jones, 62, from Seaford, East Sussex, charged with offences related to two boys, both of whom were under 16, between 1975 and 1980
2015 4th February
Dame Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand High Court Judge appointed as third Chair of the IICSA
2015 11th February
Ex-Bryn Estyn resident and Wrexham Councillor Andrew Keith Gregory appeared at Wrexham Magistrates charged with assaulting his ex-partner. He pleaded not guilty and a trial was scheduled for April 1st at Flintshire Magistrates
2015 25th March
Aileen Jones and Denis Jones appear at Wrexham Magistrates court to face allegations that they mistreated two young boys between 1975 and 1980. The couple, both of Seaford, East Sussex, denied the charges and the case was sent to Mold Crown Court.
2015 1st April
Wrexham Councillor Andrew Keith Gregory cleared of assaulting his former partner during an argument.
- The trial of seven men charged with historical sexual and physical offenses begins at Mold Crown Court.
- Marc Norry, aged 55, from Hamilton Road, Connah’s Quay.
- David Lightfoot, aged 72, a Wrexham publican in the 1980s from Parklands View, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
- Keith Stokes, aged 62,a former haulier and abattoir manager, from Quarry Hill in Farndon.
- George Neil Phoenix, 63, of Windsor Road, New Broughton, Wrexham
- Edward Julian Huxley, aged 70, from Lower Road, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire.
- Roger Owen Griffiths, 76, of Coed Efa Lane in New Broughton, Wrexham, all deny a series of charges of historical sexual abuse between them.
2015 2nd April
- George Neil Phoenix from Wrexham found not guilty of one count of sexual abuse on at boy at the home of Gary Cooke.
- David Lightfoot found guilty of six charges of indecent assault on a male, two serious sexual assaults and one attempted serious sexual assault.
- Former Metropolitan Police Officer Edward Julian Huxley from Maidenhead, Berkshire found guilty of two charges of indecent assault.
- Marc Roy Norry, aged 55 from Connors Quay, Flintshire convicted of five charges of indecent assault on a male, and one charge of serious sexual assault.
- Gary Cooke, also known as Mark Grainger, aged 64, found guilty of eleven counts of indecent assault, three charges of serious sexual assault and two charges of indecency with a child.
- Roger Owen Griffiths, aged 76 from Wrexham found not guilty of two charges of indecent assault.
- Keith Percy Stokes, aged 62, from Farndon, Chester, found not guilty of three charges of indecent assault, one charge of serious sexual assault and one charge of attempted serious sexual assault.
*The vast majority of the abuse took place primarily at the home of one of the defendants, Gary Cooke, in Brymbo. A number of other residential addresses and a former licenced premises known as ‘Snowy’s’ in Wrexham Town Centre*
Sentencing of those found guilty arranged to take place on Friday, 3rd September at Mold Crown Court.
2015 9th July
Retired North Wales Police Chief Gordon Anglesea, from Old Colwyn, charged with sexually abusing three boys. He was charged following six allegations of sexual assault and buggery, and two of serious sexual assault between 1979 and 1987. He was granted unconditional bail and is not expected to go to trial until September 2016.
2015 27th August
A 75-year-old man arrested by Officers from the National Crime Agency in Wells, Somerset on suspicion of a serious sexual assault against a child aged between 11 and 12 years old. The offences are alleged to have been committed against a boy between 1979 and 1980.
2015 25th September
- Gary Cooke aged 64, jailed for 14 years for the sexual abuse of five boys.
- David Lightfoot aged 72, jailed for 10 years for nine offences of sexual assault and three serious sexual assaults.
- Edward Julian Huxley aged 70, jailed for four-and-and-a-half years for two counts of indecent assault.
- Marc Ray Norry aged 55, jailed for 11 years for five counts of indecent assault and one serious sexual assault.
- George Neil Phoenix aged 63, jailed for three-and-a-half years for one count of sexual abuse.
- Darren Laverty was observed on Twitter to be allegedly posting updates from the court, bizarrely claiming at one point, that he had been ‘reduced to tears’ after hearing the witness impact statements.
2015 29th September
Richard Dafydd Veyvar, aged 64 was cleared at Mold Crown Court, of all charges relating to allegations of historic sexual and physical abuse. He denied that he incited a boy to indecently assault another boy at Gwasted Hall, the home of John Allen, the owner of the Bryn Alyn community. He also faced a separate charge of physically assaulting ex-Bryn Alyn resident Stephen Fong, now aged 51, between 1978 and 1980. He was cleared on all counts.
2015 4th November
Gordon Anglesea charged with a further three offences of historic child sex abuse, bringing a total of 10 charges against him. The charges are: two indecent assaults and one serious sexual offence against a boy under the age of 16. The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1982 and 1983. He is due to appear in court on November 17th
2015 17th November
Gordon Anglesea appeared before Llandudno Magistrates who committed the case to trial at Mold Crown Court on 20th November. In a short hearing, Anglesea spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth. District Judge Gwyn Jones remanded Anglesea on conditional bail. He must reside at Gwynant, Old Colwyn and not approach the complainant directly or indirectly.
2015 14th December
Peter Steen, aged 75, found not guilty of eight counts of historical physical abuse and cruelty against two children at Bryn Alyn Hall and Gatewen Hall in Wrexham, between 1978 and 1992. The jury has yet to return three more verdicts being heard at Mold Crown Court, sitting at Chester.
2015 15th December
Not guilty verdicts were returned against the remaining three charges, two of assault and one of child cruelty, leveled against Peter Steen. His solicitor Chris Saltrese said that there had been a grave miscarriage of justice and blasted the Operation Pallial investigation. The jury spent 11 hours and 52 minutes deliberating before indicating that their discussions could not take them any further. The NCA said 134 complaints remain under active investigation.
2016 12th January
The trial begins of Keith Alan Evans, 71 and Kelvin Horriben, 63, at Chester Crown Court sitting at Mold. The men were charged with child cruelty of six boys and one girl at Bryn Alyn Hall, between 1976 and 1983, and Horriben faced a second charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against a boy. Both men pleaded not guilty.
2016 26th January
A number of MPs voiced their concerns about what redactions may be made to the long-awaited Macur Report, which is an examination of the Waterhouse report into child abuse in North Wales.
2016 3rd February
Kelvin Horriben, 63 cleared of assault and child cruelty following his trial at Chester Crown Court sitting at Mold. His co-defendant, Keith Alan Evans was found not guilty of four charges of child cruelty, and a verdict could not be reached on a further two charges
2016 29th January
Robert Siddall aged 59, of Llanbedrgoch, Anglesey was jailed for three years and four months for making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children
2016 4th February
Keith Alan Evans, 71, found guilty of one of six original charges of historic child cruelty. The jury returned a majority verdict on a single count, which related to an offence committed against one boy during the 1980s. A unanimous not guilty verdict was returned against one remaining charge. He will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on the week commencing March 14.
2016 17th February
Darren Laverty arrested and charged with ‘contempt of court’ at Wrexham Magistrates Court after making a series of disgusting and malicious ‘Tweets‘, prior to, during and following the sentencing hearing of a man Laverty had insisted was prosecuted for ‘Malicious Communications‘. Laverty was taken from the court in handcuffs to Wrexham Central Police station, where he was charged and held in custody until appearing before circuit Judge Gwyn Jones at the end of court business. After receiving a severe ticking off, Laverty ‘apologised profusely’ adding rather meekly that he was ‘an extremely stupid man‘ and would at once comply with the judges instruction to immediately cease his unwarranted attacks on the convicted man. A series of handwritten notes that were taken during the court hearing by both Laverty and his wife, were seized by the North Wales police and ordered to be destroyed. He received no punishment other than his time served in the cells and the Judge’s reprimand.
2016 29th February
The trial of Aileen and Denis Jones from Seaford, East Sussex over accusations of abuse against two boys under the age of 16, between 1975 and 1980, begins at Mold Crown Court sitting at Chester and is expected to last two weeks.
2016 10th March
Aileen and Dennis Jones found not guilty of child cruelty charges at Chester Crown Court. Mrs Jones, was was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her work as head of Southdown Housing Association, said: “Of all the things we could have been accused of it was the worst in the world – murder would have been lesser. This case should never have gone to court. All the evidence that contradicted the evidence was ignored.” The case cost the couple their jobs as well as £100,000 in legal fees. Mr Jones said: “The main allegation was being made about 1973 to 1974, when we lived in Brighton and York and two years before we even moved to Wales. A simple check of our tax records would have shown where we were working at the time.” Mrs Jones went on to say: “Children have been and are still being abused, but false accusations, and especially historic false allegations, divert resources away from keeping children safe today and undermines child protection. People who have been genuinely abused are further damaged by those who make false allegations.”
2016 17th March
- Keith Alan Evans, 71, convicted in February of a single count of child cruelty against a young boy in 1883, was sentenced to eight months in custody, suspended for a year. He was also fined £500 and ordered to pay £500 compassion to the victim. Evans is the seventh person to be convicted and sentenced following investigations by Operation Pallial.
- A redacted version of the Macur Report is finally published, which found: “No Reason to undermine the Waterhouse Inquiry findings.” The report is soundly criticised by the NSPCC, who’s Welsh chief Des Mannion said it: “Revealed barely anything”. Keith Gregory, an ex-Bryn Estyn resident, who said he had been contacted by many distraught survivors who were upset by the findings, also blasted the report claiming: “It is a whitewash, a complete cover-up and has been a complete waste of time. All the court documents from the Waterhouse Inquiry were scrapped and it was said to be ‘human error.’ What the survivors are saying is that this was supposed to be a survivor-led inquiry, so why weren’t they contacted? We feel like we have been kicked in the teeth and there is a feeling of ‘here we go again’. We have lost 13 to suicide and I just hope that people remain strong now and that we carry in the battle.”
2016 18th March
Lee Roberts aged 32, of Windsor Drive, Kinmel Bay, jailed for six years after paying children abroad to engage in sex acts. Roberts told boys as young as 11 in the Phillipines what to do in highly sexualised chats over the internet and filmed what they were doing to each other and with older men.
2016 21st April
Darren Laverty suspended from the Twitter social network, for the ‘Targeted Harassment’ of a number of people including: Journalists, Survivors of Childhood Abuse and a number of Child Abuse Charities.
2016 11th May
Neil Charles Owen aged 47, of Ffordd Talargoch, Prestatyn jailed for ten years and placed on the sex offender register for life for a series of sex offences against a number of children
2016 6th June
Barry John Hopcutt aged 59, from Macclesfield jailed for seven years at Caernarfon Crown Court after befriending families holidaying at an Anglesey Caravan Park in order to sexually abuse young girls.
2016 12th June
Roger Canton aged 68, of Tower View, Wrexham, jailed for seven years for sexual assaults at a swimming pool, which took place in 1996. Canton had a previous conviction from 1979 for indecent assault upon another girl at a swimming pool at the Northgate Arena in Chester
2016 23rd June
Stephen Giles Tippit, aged 46 from Uplands Avenue, Connors Quay, jailed for four years at Mold Crown Court for carrying out a number of sexual offences against children. He was placed on the sex offenders register for life
2016 20th July
An investigation into allegations of abuse in the north Wales care system is to stop investigating new accounts from victims and survivors.
Operation Pallial began their inquiries in November 2012, with 340 people making contact, and there are currently 84 complaints being investigated.
Eight men have been convicted, including care home owner John Allen, who was jailed for life in 2014.
North Wales Police will look into allegations made after 31st August.
Operation Pallial, operated by the National Crime Agency, will remain active, supporting victims and survivors through future trials and giving advice in relation to 27 suspects.
While this work is expected to last “many months”, a dedicated team at North Wales Police will deal with all new allegations from September.
Darren Richard Laverty arrested at his home in Anglesey by the Metropolitan Police. His computer equipment and five mobile phones were taken from his property to be forensically examined. After being questioned under caution about a number of offences, he was released on police bail while further investigations were carried out.
2016 4th August
Dame Lowell Goddard resigns as chair of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse. Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, accepted the resignation.
2016 11th August
Professor Alexis Jay announced as the fourth Chair of the IICSA.
2016 14th August
Darren Laverty Launches a ‘Go Fund Me’ page in an attempt to raise £10,000 he claimed was to ‘Sue’ The Observer/Guardian group of newspapers. Laverty stated on the page: “24 Years ago (September 1992) the Observer printed a dishonest and serious libellous story about me. The article has been photographed and uploaded to the internet and used by various disgusting trolls to try and discredit my standing as a father, husband and anti-abuse campaigner.”
2016 19th August
Darren Richard Laverty 49, formally charged with the ‘Stalking involving serious harm and distress’ , under the Protection from Harassment Act, of an unnamed female Journalist following his earlier arrest, and subsequent investigation by the Metropolitan Police and was confirmed by the Crown Prosecution Service. He is due to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court, London on the 21st September.
2016 24th August
Arwel Roberts, aged 63, from Queens Road, Greenfield, a retired Paramedic, jailed for 16 years at Mold Crown Court for a string of sex offences including child rape.
2016 1st September
Darren Laverty, 49 taken into custody following an early morning raid at his home in Llanfairpwll, Anglesey. He was arrested by North Wales Police on behalf of the Merseyside force on suspicion of stalking. Local reports say the front door of his property was ‘rammed off it’s hinges’ when the early morning search warrant was executed. During the raid a small amount of cannabis was discovered by officers and Laverty was also arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled drug. Mr Laverty also remains currently charged with a separate charge of ‘Stalking involving serious harm and distress’.
2016 4th September
Darren Laverty released following a weekend in police custody
2016 5th September
The jury is sworn in at the start of the trial of 78-year-old Gordon Anglesea at Mold Crown Court. The ex-North Wales Police Superintendent faces four charges of historic sexual abuse involving two complainants. Judge Geraint Walters said that although the trial was listed for six weeks, he expected it would take less time than that. Seven men and four women, with two spare female jurors for the initial stage of the trial, were selected. The judge then asked the jury to return to court on Tuesday September 13, where the trial proper was expected to get underway. Anglesea is charged with two counts of indecent assault and serious sexual assault on one man when he was a teenager and indecent assault on a second complainant when he was a teenager.
2016 21st September
Darren Richard Laverty appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court charged with ‘Stalking involving extreme Fear and Distress’, to which he pleads Not Guilty. He elects to be tried at Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court on the 18th October. He is released on conditional bail which stipulates that he cannot enter London except to attend court and not to contact the female journalist concerned.
2016 18th October
Darren Richard Laverty appeared at Kingston-Upon-Thames Crown Court for a direction and case management hearing and pleads not guilty to a charge of ‘Stalking involving extreme Fear and Distress’. He was released on conditional bail for trial on March 2017 under the conditions he does not contact the alleged victim and stays out of central London. The scheduled trial in March is expected to last 3-4 days.
2016 21st October
Ex-North Wales police chief Gordon Anglesea, 79, convicted of historical child sex offences by jury following a trial at Mold Cown Court. He was convicted of one charge against one boy, and three indecent assaults against another. Addressing Anglesea, Judge Geraint Walters said “there can only be one sentence and that is a prison sentence”. Anglesea was also found not guilty of an alternative charge of serious sexual assault, and was granted bail until November 4th, when he will be sentenced.
2016 4th November
Gordon Anglesea sentenced at Mold Crown Court to 12 years imprisonment in total for three sexual assaults on two teenage boys. He was sentenced to two years on one count and six years on two counts to run concurrently. Journalist Ian Hislop told the BBC in an interview that the Police Federation were considering financing Anglesea’s appeal.
2016 18th November
The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) formally withdraw from the IICSA. “Our decision to pull out of the Independent Inquiry into Childhood Sexual Abuse (IICSA) should have come with regret but we are sad to say the only emotion we feel is relief. Now our members do not have to relive their worst nightmares in this stage-managed event which is now being contrived in such a way that it enables the guilty to wash their dirty hands, whilst the establishment pats itself on the back”
2016 30th November
The North Wales Police launch an investigation into historical child sex abuse in youth football. The force said that they had received “a number of reports” of non-recent sexual abuse within a football setting. The NWP joined other forces across the United Kingdom, including Cheshire Police, to examine claims made by several former players about sexual abuse. In total, eleven police forces are now looking into allegations, in what the Football Association chairman Greg Clarke described as the biggest crisis he had ever seen face the game.
2016 9th December
Darren Richard Laverty charged on a second count of stalking women on the internet. He was bailed to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court in January 2017
2016 13th December
S4C Screen ‘Cam-Drin Plant: Y Gwir Sy’n Llad’. The story of child abuse in North Wales through the eyes of journalist David Williams. Alison Taylor, Steven Messham & Darren Laverty feature throughout the programme.
2016 15th December
Convicted paedophile Gordon Anglesea died in hospital. A Prison Service spokesman said: “HMP Rye Hill prisoner Gordon Anglesea (DOB 28/03/1937) died in hospital today (15th December) at around 9.30 am. As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate”.
2016 30th December
The Venture Youth Centre at Caia Park, Wrexham is scheduled for closure in March 2017 following the loss of it’s funding
2017 1st January
Robert John Kirkham, aged 66, died in HMP Fazakerly on Merseyside. Convicted of murder in the 1980s, he had been in prison since 1999, when he was convicted of sexual assault on a young boy. He was ordered to serve the remainder of his prison term for murder, from which he had been released on licence. After serving another twelve years, he was released in 2011. In 2013, a new victim came forward to allege that he had been raped and sexually assaulted by Kirkham in 1996.
2017 9th January
The crematorium at Colwyn Bay was packed as the funeral of 79-year-old disgraced former police officer Gordon Anglesea of Old Colwyn took place. Former police officers, Rotary Club and Methodist Church colleagues were among the congregation for the 30-minute service, which was conducted by the Rev. Judith Holliman. Following Anglesey’s earlier trial at Mold Crown Court, his defence team had sought leave to appeal against his conviction, prior to his death from pneumonia. At the funeral, his son, who gave a eulogy, said that they “believed in him right to the end.”
2017 11th January
Darren Richard Laverty appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on a second charge of stalking women. He pleads not guilty and the case is committed to Kingston Crown Court, London for trial. Laverty is released on bail under the condition he does not enter the City of Liverpool.
2017 25th January
The widow of Gordon Anglesea will get half of his pension following his death. Police chiefs had been seeking advice on whether any or all of the 79-year-old’s pension should be forfeited following his conviction for historic child sex offences. He died before any agreement could be rteached with the Home Secretary
2017 27th January
An inquest into the death of of convicted Old Colwyn murderer and paedophile Robert John Kirkham at Liverpool, recorded that he died at HMP Fazakerly on Merseyside from ‘Metatastic Renal Cancer’.
Verdict: Natural Causes.
2017 17th Febuary
The Trial of Darren Richard Laverty, on two stalking charges at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court, due to be held in March was re-scheduled until June 19th. He denies all the charges.
2017 25th February
Andrew and Jane Kershaw formally withdraw their support for the IICSA
2017 2nd April
Wrexham (Smithfield) Plaid Cymru Councillor, and ex-Bryn Estyn resident Keith Gregory, forced to stand down after nine years following a serious and long-standing illness
2017 5th May
Malcolm King retains his Wynnstay, Wrexham Council seat for the Labour Party
2017 26th May
The CPS suddenly drop all the Stalking charges in relation to Darren Richard Laverty.
A statement from the CPS said: “Following a review of additional evidence received from the police, we have concluded that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction, and will not be pursuing the case.” – SOURCE Daily Post
2017 29th May
Darren Laverty claimed on twitter that he has been granted ‘Core Participant’ status on the IICSA. Tweeting: “I am now a Core Participant of the IICSA. I will be giving oral evidence as and when required. Lots of paperwork gone in already. #bringiton”
2017 13th June
Phil Frampton of the ‘Survivors of Organised and Institutional Abuse’ (SOIA) formally withdraws his support for the IICSA.
2017 13th July
Stephen Hough, aged 53, Convicted at Mold Crown Court, of the rape and manslaughter of 15-year-old Janet Commins in Flint in 1976. His sickening crime was finally unearthed after 40 years when advances in forensic science meant that his DNA profile could be established from samples taken from the teenager’s body. 59-year-old Noel Jones who was originally convicted of the killing and served six of the twelve-year sentence he received, said after the trial: “I have been made a scapegoat, and as a Gypsy, I had ‘fitted the bill’ and was pressured into signing a false confession after being shown statements by the police which I could not read properly”.
2017 11th August
Bryan Davies, aged 70, appeared before Llandudno Magistrates after being arrested and extradited from Malta. Davies appeared in court accused of the sexual abuse of 11 children. Davis was a former deputy principal of the children’s home at Ystrad Hall, Llangollen. He was arrested by officers from Operation Pallial and will appear at Mold Crown Court on the 8th September.
2017 15th September
THE COST of Operation Pallial — the police investigation into historic allegations of child abuse in North Wales — has risen to £4.3 million.
The figure, obtained by the website Rebecca under a Freedom of Information request, was the total at the end of March this year.
A further £1.2 million has been earmarked for this financial year.
The inquiry, carried out by the National Crime Agency on behalf of North Wales Police, is largely underwritten by the government.
The Home Office has paid 85 per cent of the cost — leaving the North Wales force with a bill of £671,000.
An additional £278,000 has been spent by the National Crime Agency.
2017 20th September
Michael John Carroll aged 69, arrested on allegations of child sexual abuse. He was accused of sexually assaulting children in the early 1980s. He was released on bail until October.
2017 13th October
Mark Grainger’s plea hearing at Mold Crown Court goes ahead despite him not attending as he was said to be ‘unwell’. A pre-trial review was scheduled for March, where Grainger would be asked to formally enter his pleas, and a trial was fixed to begin on July 2nd 2018
2017 27th November
Former mineworker, Paul Hignett, aged 62, of Station Road, Rhostyllen, Wrexham, jailed for 11 years for a string of sex offences dating back 20 years, when Hignett was in his mid-40s. He was convicted of 12 charges of indecent assault by a jury at Mold Crown Court. Hignett was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order
2017 5th December
An amended version of the Macur report is published, containing previously redacted information that ex-North Wales police chief Gordon Anglesea was being investigated by the North Wales force with a view to prosecution. The persistent claims from witnesses that incriminating images that showed Anglesea being involved in illegal sexual activity had existed and were subsequently destroyed according to Crown Prosecution Service decided against it, according to the amended report.
2018 18th January
Michael John Carroll cleared of historical sex abuse on a young boy at a Wirral orphanage. Carroll had been due to stand trial in April, but the CPS decided not to pursue the allegations, and a judge at Liverpool’s crown court formally entered not guilty verdicts on the three charges.
2018 7th February
Robert Anthony Davies, aged 52, of Box Lane, Borras, near Wrexham, described as ‘having a degree of IT skill to hide much of his online activity’, jailed for 45 months at Mold Crown Court, for which Judge Niclas parry said, was, a ‘disturbing and unhealthy sexual interest in female children, which extended to an interest in the violent abuse, rape and torture of youngsters’. Police investigations said that the number of messages on Davies’ computer, far exceeded anything they had encountered previously.
2018 28th March
Mark Grainger, also known as Gary Cooke appeared at Mold Crown Court via video link from Wakefield Prison. Grainger faces charges of sexual abuse of a boy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and was remanded in custody. A trial is expected to start on July 2nd
2018 10th April
Steven Hankers, aged 32, of Johnston, Wrexham, who hacked hundreds of home cameras to watch people having sex and undressing, jailed for six years at Mold Crown Court. He was caught when police investigated him over allegations he incited children to perform sexual acts.
2018 12th July
Darren Laverty publishes a letter from solicitors Imran Khan and Partners on his blog, which states: ‘It has been brought to our attention by our client that publications and statements have been made on Twitter.com, and continue to be made, which suggest or infer that he was involved with the sexual abuse of children when this is completely false, but which which appear to be disseminated with the purpose of harassing, abusing and otherwise humiliating him. We enclose an assortment of such content which has been published on your platform.
It is well known that [our client is himself a survivor of sexual abuse and it could not be more seriously harmful to him as a campaigner and champion of the rights of survivors of sexual abuse] when such false allegations are made of him. Indeed our firm acts for Mr Laverty in his capacity as a victim in the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (‘IICSA’).’
A letter which, in part, directly contradicts what Mr Laverty has himself stated publicly, on several occasions, including an instance online on the 2nd March 2016 at 4:54, in a Tweet to @GhandisOBlocked: [‘I’m not a survivor or victim of sexual abuse], just institutional failings and individual assaults by social workers’.
In a published retraction in the Daily Mirror newspaper, dated Thursday, February 17, 2000, which stated: YESTERDAY in late editions of our article on the Lost In Care report into the abuse of children in care, we said that Darren Laverty had been sexually abused. Whilst Mr Laverty claimed that he had been beaten and abused in care in North Wales [at no time was he sexually abused]. We apologise to him and his family for the distress caused by our saying this’.
On May 5th 1997, another retraction was published in a different newspaper stating: ‘We have been informed by Mr Darren Laverty, who wished to point out that, contrary to any implications that might have been taken from an article published on September 26, 1996, [he did not suffer sexual abuse whilst in care].
Mr Laverty started a campaign to help victims of abuse in North Wales and points out that he has not named anyone as a sexual abuser who has not been convicted. We regret any inconvenience caused and are happy to clarify the position.’
2018 10th September
A 64-year-old man has pleaded guilty to abusing a boy aged under 16 in a case dating back to the 1970s. Graham Joseph Stridgen, from Fleetwood, Lancashire, admitted serious sexual assault and two charges of indecent assault.
The offences took place between June 1973 and December 1974 when Stridgen was in his late teens. A number of other charges will now lie on file. Judge Rhys Reynolds bailed Stridgen until 15 October while a pre-sentence report is compiled. He said a custodial sentence will be inevitable.
The case stems from Operation Pallial, a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse at North Wales care homes.
2018 22nd September
Geoffrey Ian Robinson, aged 57 a former British Transport Police officer pleads guilty at Wrexham Magistrates Court to possessing 10 child porn videos and images. Robinson was found with the images at his property in Gwersyllt, and will be sentenced at Mold Crown Court on October 18th.
2018 3rd October
Huw Meurig Jones, aged 70, appears at Mold Crown Court, charged with 13 counts of sexual abuse between June 1975 and October. It was alleged he abused one boy at a secure unit at an assessment centre in Wrexham where he was the deputy superintendent, and another at his then flat in Colwyn Bay, where he worked as a social worker on an intermediate programme. The two complainants first made allegations against Jones in 1992, following a major inquiry, but Jones was not prosecuted. Following a review of earlier decisions by Operation Pallial, Jones was charged. The alleged offences occurred at the Little Acton Assessment Centre in Box Lane. Jones denied all the charges and the trial is expected to end early next week.
2018 4th October
Timothy Mark Williams, aged 54, of Fford Cwstenin, Mochdre, Colwyn Bay, jailed by Judge Huw Rees at Caernarfon Crown Court for 12 years, after admitting sexually abusing three girls. Additionally, Williams was handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must sign the Sex Offenders Register for life. At a prior hearing, Williams had admitted 23 charges of abuse, which occurred during the 1990s and 2000s on three girls who were aged under 13-years-old at the time.
2018 8th October
Christopher Griffiths, previously known as Christopher Davies, aged 43, a convicted child rapist imprisoned for nine years in 2007, jailed for another eight months at Mold Crown Court. Griffiths was jailed after admitting seven counts of breaching the requirements of the Sex Offenders Register.
An investigation showed that between June 2017 and July 2018 Griffiths, an ex-policeman from Vaughan Way, Connors Quay, had changed his name, obtained a passport in the new name, and also travelled to Dubai and Mauritius, failed to register a new address, and had obtained a bank card and a credit card without registering the changes with the police.
2018 15th October
Ex-Bryn Alyn resident Graham Joseph Stridgeon, aged 64, sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment for serious sexual assault on a teenage boy, while two other sexual assaults were left on record. Strigeon, of Park Avenue, Fleetwood, Lancashire was told by sentencing Judge Rhys Rowlands at Mold Crown Court, that he would also be placed on the sex offenders register for life.
2018 6th December
John Anthony Delaney, 33, from Wrexham, and John James Purcell, 31, from Ellesmere Port, found guilty of rape and the sex-trafficking of under-age care home girls from Wrexham. A third man – Todd James Wickens, of Homestead Lane, Wrexham, was found not guilty. One of the offences related to allegations that Delaney and Purcell took a girl to the Dene Hotel in Chester, where she was raped by several unknown men. The victims were two girls at a home for ‘cared-for’ children in the Wrexham area.
2018 11th December
Darren Richard Laverty announced on his blog that he is withdrawing from his position as ‘Core Participant’ of the IICSA, citing: “The evidence I have seen thus far has shocked and disappointed me to the extent of becoming distressed, upset and angry. The procedural mechanics of the IICSA have failed in all respects. it seems to me the no-one will benefit from being a CP unless you have something to hide from the public, or unless you are a lawyer who’s attached oneself to the inquiry. frankly it’s a sickening sight and I regret ever getting involved.
Furthermore, the refusal of the IICSA to investigate the media’s role in my case evidences a refusal to see the truth of how they treated me as a victim of child abuse. The very fact that a fabricated document the Observer Newspaper and North Wales police concocted in order to try and discredit me (by alleging I took part in a gang rape at the age of 11) was ignored, is enough to ensure myself that the truth was never going to be part of this inquiry.
The final straw was the refusal by the IICSA to pay expenses for victims to attend the hearings when their evidence was presented.”
2018 December 17th
Darren Richard Laverty, in a comment made on the ‘Barths Notes’ website, stated in response to a question about his 11 December blog post: ‘I doubt you have any friends. Just for the record the IICSA don’t even know about the article you numbty”, which contradicted his own statement on his personal blog on 11 December, which stated: “The very fact that a fabricated document the Observer Newspaper and North Wales police concocted in order to discredit me (by alleging that I took part in a gang rape at the age of 11) was ignored ……”
2018 January 15th
Graham Stridgeon, 64, has his sentence increased after it was referred to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient. Stridgeon was originally sentenced in October 2018 to three and a half years in prison at Mold Crown Court. The Court of Appeal increased his sentence to five years and ten months imprisonment with an extended licence period of three years. While in his teens, Stridgeon sexually abused a fellow resident at Bryn Alyn 40 years ago when the victim was under fifteen years of age.