News breaking

A 71-year-old man has been charged with with 32 serious sexual offences as part of an investigation into historic child abuse at care homes in North Wales.

John Allen, of Ipswich, Suffolk was re-arrested this morning when he answered to police bail in North Wales. He has been charged with 22 indecent assaults, one offence of gross indecency and nine offences of buggery.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1968 and 1989 against 15 children who were aged between seven and 15 at the time.

Karen Mullin, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Cymru-Wales, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service is working alongside Operation Pallial as this major investigation into historical sexual abuse in North Wales moves forward.

“I can confirm that, having carefully considered the evidence gathered so far, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge John Allen with a total of 32 serious sexual offences, and that it is in the public interest to do so.

“We have therefore authorised Operation Pallial to charge Mr Allen with these offences.”

Mr Allen has been remanded in custody and is expected to appear before Magistrates in Mold tomorrow.

Operation Pallial, which is led by Keith Bristow, director general of the National Crime Agency, has since revealed that the number of people now speaking to investigators about abuse has increased to 187.

Mr Allen is one of four men to be arrested to date. The other three remain on police bail while investigations continue.

Mullin added: “John Allen now stands charged with criminal offences and it is important that nothing is put into the public domain that may undermine either the ongoing police investigation or the defendant’s right to a fair trial.”

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