John Allen, 73, and Michael John Carroll, 66, were friends when they were abusing youngsters North Wales and London respectively in the 1980s
Two notorious paedophiles were at the centre of a nationwide network of abusers which allegedly included both Labour and Tory politicians, a Mirror investigation has found.
Detectives suspected 16 years ago that the children’s home abuse ring spanned the country and involved hundreds of victims.
Official documents show paedophiles John Allen, 73, and Michael John Carroll, 66, were friends when they were abusing youngsters North Wales and London respectively in the 1980s.
Their links can be revealed on the day Allen was jailed for life for sexually abusing 19 children he was paid to look after.
Margaret Thatcher’s former aide Sir Peter Morrison is suspected of abusing boys in Allen’s care in Wales while a former minister in Tony Blair’s government is currently being probed over his alleged visits to Carroll’s Angell Road children’s home in Lambeth, south London.
Both men were protected by the authorities who ignored Allen’s victims for years and allowed Carroll to remain in charge of the home despite knowing he was a convicted paedophile.
A series of articles in the Daily Mirror have revealed how former detective Clive Driscoll was removed from an investigation into Carroll in 1998 when he named the Blair minister as a suspect.
Official papers from that year show a boy placed in a Lambeth home was abused by Carroll, known as MJC, while two of the boy’s brothers went to a Bryn Allen Community in Wales where youngsters were attacked by Allen.
The internal Lambeth council document, dated 23 September, 1998, states: “Additional information not yet in a statement is that the third brother of witness 1 and 2 was placed at Bryn Allen Community not Angell Road.
“However he has confirmed that he knew MJC who used to visit John Allen at the community.
“John Allen is now serving a long custodial sentence for abuse of children at that group home…From the placements list it appears we used a number of homes to place children now known to have suffered extensive abuse. Eg Bryn Allen, and St Georges Liverpool now renamed Clarence House.”
Another document dated September 18, 1998, reveals officers from Merseyside’s Operation Care, who successfully investigated Carroll, were aware of the links.
It states: “Operation care (sic) has suggested a tie-up between Lambeth children and the enquiry in North Wales. North Wales Police say that Lambeth was informed of this in 1991.”
Mr Driscoll, who led the investigation that saw two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers jailed, said of his 1998 suspects: “Some of the names were people that were locally working, some people that were, if you like, working nationally.
“There was quite a mix really because it appeared that it was connected to other boroughs and other movement around the country.”
A social services source who investigated abuse in Lambeth agreed, saying: “There were patterns of children moving to certain homes around the country, Lambeth, north Wales, south Wales and Merseyside.
“It was bigger than Lambeth – it involved senior children’s homes officers around the country but it was proving it that was the problem.
“These like-minded people had access to one another through their work.”
One of Carroll’s Lambeth victims confirmed that detectives were aware of his links with Allen in 1998.
Now a father and delivery driver, he said: “The police told me John Allen knew Carroll. They said they were investigating their links but that was the last I heard.
“You have to think to yourself did they have a system where children were being passed around homes to be abused?”
Carroll took boys on camping trips to the Caernarfon, north Wales, where he ran the Ozaman charity in the 1980s and later opened a hotel near Wrexham, where many children from the North Wales homes were abused.
One man who accompanied Carroll on the trips is currently being hunted by Merseyside police after being summonsed earlier this year over allegations of child sex attacks dating back many decades.
Carroll’s fellow care worker Steven Forrest, was accused of sexually assaulting a young boy at Angell Road. He died of an Aids related illness before the boy made the allegation.
At least three men who worked with Carroll at a youth charity in London were also convicted paedophiles.
Allen was jailed in 1995 for six years for child sex abuse. A former police officer who knew Allen is currently on bail after being arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing boys.
Allen’s former employees Peter Howarth and Stephen Norris were both convicted of sexually abusing children in their care.
Rod Richards, a former Conservative MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, has claimed he had seen evidence linking Sir Peter Morrison to the North Wales children’s homes case, in which up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years.
Former Tory minister Edwina Currie revealed that Morrision was a child abuser in her diaries, which were published 12 years ago.
Mr Richards also linked a second leading Tory grandee – now dead – to the scandals at homes including Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn Hall.
He said official documents had identified the pair as frequent, unexplained visitors to the care homes.
Scotland Yard have opened three investigations linked to Carroll following revelations in the Daily Mirror.
He was jailed for ten years at Liverpool Crown Court in 1999 after admitting 35 offences against 12 boys, both on Merseyside and in Lambeth.
Former Lambeth social services director David Pope allowed him to continue running Angell Road despite learning he had been convicted of indecently assaulting a young boy in 1966.
Carroll now lives in a half a million pound home near Oswestry, Shropshire.
He denies ever meeting the Blair minister. Allen, who made millions from his children’s homes, will be sentenced today at Mold crown court after last week being found guilty of 33 sex attacks on children as young as 10. He was jailed in 1995 for six years for child sex abuse.