21st Oct 2016
A retired police superintendent who won £375,000 libel damages after being branded a paedophile faces spending the rest of his life in jail after he was convicted yesterday of sexually abusing boys.
Gordon Anglesea, 79, could also be forced to pay back the cash won in 1994 after a High Court libel action against two national newspapers, a TV broadcaster and Private Eye magazine.
They had failed to convince a jury that the officer, a regular visitor to the notorious Bryn Alyn and Bryn Estyn children’s homes in Wrexham, North Wales, was responsible for molesting teenage boys in care.
Witness Mark Humphries, 30, committed suicide two months after giving evidence against Anglesea in the libel trial, saying he couldn’t get over ‘not being believed’.
Referring to his death, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop said yesterday that the magazine would not be trying to get its money back, adding: ‘Others have paid a far higher price.’
Ex-superintendent Gordon Anglesea, 79, used his position and ‘connections with authority’ to molest his two victims, while running a reformatory school in Wales (pictured, with his wife)
Mold Crown Court heard that the former senior officer with North Wales police now faces dying behind bars for offences that took place between 1982 and 1987.
The married father of five was found guilty yesterday of three counts of indecently assaulting a boy while on duty as a police inspector and one against a second boy at a private address while he was off duty.
Jurors heard that the offences committed while he was on duty took place at Wrexham Attendance Centre, described as a school for ‘naughty boys’ by one witness. The Home Office centre was run by Anglesea on Saturdays for young offenders, who were put through military drills and exercises, and given woodwork classes as an alternative to jail.
Anglesea, of Colwyn Bay, watched them do naked sit-ups before abusing them in the changing rooms.
One victim, now 48, branded him ‘evil’, saying: ‘He was a powerful person. He’s wrecked my life.’
The other, now 46, said he was ‘handed around like a handbag’ to be abused by Anglesea and other men.
The court heard that Anglesea, who has a large birth mark on his neck which was described by both victims, grabbed the second boy, then aged 14 or 15, by the hair and forced him to perform a sex act.
He called the boy ‘scum,’ and warned that he had the power to send the youngster away from his family for ever.
The victim told police he only came forward last year because he was scared of Anglesea’s ‘connections with authority.’
The court heard Anglesea was also seen at the home of paedophile John Allen, who ran Bryn Alyn. Allen was given a life sentence in 2014 for abusing 18 boys and one girl in his care.
Anglesea, who joined the police in 1957 and retired in 1991, admitted visiting children’s homes but said it had been to administer cautions.
He denied wrongdoing and said the allegations were ‘lies and inventions’.
His defence in both cases was funded by the Police Federation.
Yesterday, after the jury convicted Anglesea of four indecent assaults – and acquitted him of a serious sexual offence – a man in court yelled: ‘This is a great day for British justice – 30 years we’ve waited for this.’
Anglesea was bailed and will be sentenced next month.
The court heard how another victim said he was first sexually assaulted by Allen while in care and living at the Bryn Alyn home
He had sued the Independent on Sunday, the Observer, HTV and Private Eye in the 1994 trial, which was estimated to have cost £1million.
Three witnesses gave evidence about alleged abuse, with lawyers for the retired officer accusing them of spreading the ‘filthiest lies’.
He won the case and enjoyed retirement for nearly 20 years before being arrested in 2013 by officers from Operation Pallial, launched in response to claims on Newsnight that prominent figures had preyed on boys as part of a paedophile ring.
Anglesea is the ninth person to be convicted as a result of the inquiry.
Yesterday, North Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki apologised to victims on behalf of his force, adding: ‘Time has caught up with Gordon Anglesea.
‘No occupation is immune from individuals who exploit their position of authority and trust to abuse vulnerable victims, but people expect and deserve better from the police.’
10th Oct 2016
Mold Crown Court heard Gordon Anglesea was trying to “wriggle out” of the fact he “said two vastly different things” during a High Court libel action in 1994, and the current trial.
Mr Anglesea, 79, of Old Colwyn, Conwy, denies abusing two boys in the 1980s.
The court has previously heard one complainant claim sexual abuse by Mr Anglesea in a shower block.
Last week, during questioning by his own barrister, Mr Anglesea told the court he visited a shower area of a Home Office attendance centre he used to run “once or twice”.
Cross-examining Mr Anglesea on Monday, Eleanor Laws QC, referred to evidence he gave in the 1994 libel case, which resulted in Mr Anglesea being awarded nearly £400,000 in damages.
In 1994, under oath, he was asked: “Did you stand in the showers watching the boys regularly?”
He had answered: “I went to the showers on every occasion the attendance centre was open.”
Mr Anglesea confirmed to the court he had been given the chance to read through the libel transcript over the weekend.
He said: “I read it and I realised there was an interpretation on there which to me was incorrect.”
He said his libel evidence could have been “misconstrued” and he did not go into the shower area every time.
Ms Laws accused him of lying under oath, either during the libel action, or to the present jury.
She said he was trying to “wriggle out of the fact you said two vastly different things”.
She accused him of making things up, to which he replied: “I have made nothing up at all.”
Gordon Anglesea denies one charge of indecent assault against one boy, and two charges of indecent assault and one serious sexual assault against another. BBC NEWS
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