Channel 4 News this evening was broadcast live from Yorke Street in Wrexham, initally outside the former Crest Hotel – now Wynnstay – then from outside St Giles church.
They revealed more in the abuse scandal involving Bryn Estyn, specifically an interview with former head of personnel at Clwyd Council. It was reported that Sian Griffiths ‘kept every detail’ in ‘extensive files’ of previous inquiries due to her role.
The manner of the Waterhouse inquiry was discussed, with recollections of by Griffiths of a witness asked to list people possibly involved so they ‘rattled names off…and got to the point where he named somebody who has been high up in the governement’ at that point he was stopped from giving evidence by Waterhouse. Griffiths said “he was a high profile public figure and still alive”.
Other criticism was voiced with an example of a different high profile public figure being named, but was not called to give evidence, when ‘nobodies’ were named and yet were called.
Sian Griffiths was asked the direct question “Are there people out in the community now who should be behind bars?” She replied “Yes, yes I do.”
Sian Griffiths referred to “a local public servant at the time” and how one victim was not able to give evidence against him as he was terrified, saying “thats how powerful the man is”. Again due to legal reasons this person was not named by Channel 4. Later this mystery person was referred to as being “key” to any investigation.
The former local public servant “was also named in a list of offenders in a paedophile ring shown to Channel 4 news”.
Channel 4 displayed sections, without names, of the lists they were given saying it was claimed around 50% of the names on the list were not investigated.
The background imagery of the list showed references to AIDS Worker, Marker Trader, NHS, Businessman, Care Worker, Restauranter, Chevet Hey, Flower Shop, Church, Crest, Hostel. Channel 4 stated the “high profile local official” is named again in this list.
Further, referring to the previously reported ‘pulped’ copies of a Clwyd Council report into abuse, Channel 4 say they believe copies still exist.
Channel 4 suggested that the two new investigations ‘could do worse than start at the kitchen table of Sian Griffiths’.
Wrexham.com hopes that the reams of evidence on show on that kitchen table are independently secured as soon as possible to ensure any investigation – criminal or otherwise – can refer to them.
Late this evening The Guardian has published a report saying that local councillor Keith Gregory has told them that “he did not believe Lord (Alistair) McAlpine was involved in the scandal”. Alistair McAlpine was a former Conservative Party treasuer in 1970’s to 1990 – and is still alive.
As the article states, Alistair McAlpine has been ‘named’ online however Keith Gregory told the Guardian he believed a different member of the McAlpine family who lived locally may have been mistaken for Lord McAlpine.
Jimmie McAlpine is referred to in the article, pointing out not only is he dead, but lived in Gerwyn Hall – Marchwiel way. Messham told the Waterhouse inquiry in 1997 that the McAlpine family member he believed to be his abuser was dead.
The report also reveals that Alistair McAlpine’s Italian home has been ‘mobbed’ by reports for the last week.
The full report is here.
BBC follows the Guardian story breaking with a stub saying “Conservative peer Lord McAlpine has said allegations linking him to alleged historical child abuse are “wholly false and seriously defamatory”.”