Operation Pallial – Wales child abuse: 'Victims starting to be believed'

Wrexham councillor who alleges he was abused as a child while in care in north Wales says victims will feel they are now being believed.

Keith Gregory was speaking after police revealed they have received 140 allegations of historical abuse between 1963 and 1992.

It has emerged 76 new complainants have come forward as part of an inquiry.

At a news conference north Wales chief constable Mark Polin told victims: “It's never too late to report abuse.”

Operation Pallial, an independent investigation examining claims of historical child abuse at children's homes in north Wales, says it has found “significant evidence of systemic and serious sexual and physical abuse”.

It said a total of 84 suspected offenders have been named – 75 male and nine female. Of these, 16 have been named by more than one complainant.

It is believed that 10 of the 16 may be deceased.

Mr Gregory has previously told the BBC he was sexually, physically and mentally abused while at Bryn Estyn home in Wrexham in the 1970s by some members of staff and others from the local community.

'Complex investigations'

“To bring justice these allegations need to be looked at,” said Mr Gregory.

“It feels like at last we are starting to be believed.”

Keith Towler, the Children's Commissioner for Wales, said further allegations revealed by officers on Monday working on the Operation Pallial inquiry shows how critical it is to offer victims of abuse the opportunity to be heard.

The investigation involves police officers, primarily from forces in north west England, supported by members of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP Centre).

Mr Towler said he was encouraged “so many victims have felt empowered to contact the investigation team and that their voices have finally been heard”.

Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, described the inquiry as one of the most “complex investigations of its kind”.

He said: “Our experienced locally-based volunteers have provided a balanced mix of emotional and practical support to those who have come forward.

“We would encourage any other victims to come forward in the knowledge that Victim Support and our partners will sensitively and confidentially provide them with the help they need.”

North Wales Chief Constable Mark Polin has said offenders quite rightly should have to “look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives”.

We understand that it is not unusual for those who were subject to abuse to come forward later in life. If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.

Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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