Bryn Alyn

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My Story, Bryn Alyn Survivor Dave Harries

Published December 12, 2014 by misty534

My name is David Harries and I am 38 years old and a survivor of child abuse. When I was 5/6 I used to climb out of my bedroom window and run away because of the abuse I was getting off my drunk father. I told my primary teachers of all the nasty things my dad was doing, it was all physical abuse very violent and very cruel/wicked. Social services were aware but never intervened for another three and half years which led me to get more damaged.

Just before my tenth birthday I was given a beating by my father for something I never did. Of course I ran away. The next day being hungry I stole a pack of three Mars bars and I got caught and when the police officer grabbed my arm I winched. Upon getting into the police station the officer made the Sergeant aware of my winching. A doctor looked me over and I had a bruise the the whole of my back. That’s when social services got involved. That’s when I was taken away from my mum.

The weird thing is how the social worker made ‘care’ sound comfortable and safe and creepily inviting. I have never forgot that day Whitney Houston’s track One Moment In Time was on the radio and my mum was broken in floods of tears and my dad never said a word(coward). The social worker took me to Elmfield house in Rochdale. I was put in a big bedroom with a big antique bed in it and I curled up and I fell asleep. Nobody checked to see if I was OK till about half past eight in the morning. Coming out of that room was the scariest moment. Eleven years of age and every single person around me was a stranger. They use to give you a clipper card to get to school and I used mine to go on a bus journey all over Manchester. When I got back I was frog marched into the office. The manager told the member of staff to leave and he belted me right around my head hard then slapped me across my back and bum. The place has been knocked down now plus the night watchman use to be on the girls landing all the time. He use to hit you in the private bits if he caught you out of your room, I can still remember in detail the inside of that place.
I was moved shortly after to Rotherham Keppel’s view. I was placed on Hood. There was two more units Anson/Nelson they also had a secure unit. There was physical abuse here too. In fact I ran off. About fourteen of us ran off and I played a role in helping another lad off Anson pinch the home van. I got the worse beating for that and was put in the secure bit to recover from it . Un-be-known to me my social worker had brought my mum and sister to see me and they refused to let them see me. Social worker did nothing about that. It’s as though he knew. A few incidents involving the teacher and a member of staff happened to me. All physical. I ended up leaving there because of my behaviour. They was sending me to Ashleigh House in Blackburn. They showed me round but I kicked off and they had to put me somewhere quick. They took me back to Rochdale and put me in Burnage View, but that was not their route for me, wasn’t there long before they took me to Red Bank in Warrington. My memories of Burnage View is something I never witnessed in any other home. They was nice it was very family orientated it was a good place.
Back to Red Bank. It was not a nice place, very eerie, big long corridors with dorms off it and restraint rooms. I was placed on Vulcan right at the end of the corridor. It was very strict and the manager had a weird name. I witnessed him one evening, really late. He picked up a boys duvet quilt and touched him for a few minutes. The boy stirred and he quickly put the quilt back on him. He turned around quick and caught me awake. Nothing happened then but the next day was film day. I was sat there with my friend and for some strange reason he walloped me in the face for no reason. I ended up getting in trouble for it and dragged off to the restraint room where I was met by the doctor and the manager and some big members of staff.
I was hand cuffed and then beaten really bad like a major warning beating. I was left there until the next morning still handcuffed and bleeding. I managed to run away which believe me is no mean feat, it was tough but I did it. I refused to go back. Then I was asked really nicely by my social worker- where I would like to go? Weird, because I was used to being told where I was going. I chose Burnage View, I had really good memories of that place but my behaviour blew it.
It was at this point in life I started to behave more maturely.
I came back from school and I was told I have forty five minutes to pack my clothes. Confused, doesn’t come close. I did not get told where I was going until on the way. In the car was my social worker and a girl. She was dropped at Bryn Alyn and I was taken to Pentre Saeson.
It was a big house surrounded and covered by trees. In the summer you cannot see the house and in the winter it looked not a nice place. Scary movie type. Upon arrival there it didn’t seem bad. A games room caught my eye and the pool table. I liked that, little did I know what was coming. The thing that is puzzling- is my social worker seemed to know the manager which was weird as I was the only one from Rochdale.
I was not there long before the sexual abuse happened. Before it started, I pinched a fiver out of the managers car. I was called to his bedroom and he slapped me across the ear sending my head into a light switch cutting my head. I was told to tell the hospital I fell on the light switch. I got butterfly stitches and returned by the manager who was with me all the time. On the way back I was told that I will be stood in the hallway and told to take everything of except my underpants. Again a very confused and scary time at thirteen. I did as I was told. I was made to stand in the hallway for at least four/five hours and my head was hurting bad.
I just wanted to go to bed. Later I went to bed and fell asleep quickly. It felt like I wasn’t asleep long before I felt my quilt being moved, and then felt hands on my underpants. I turned round quick and the manager put his hands over my mouth and give me a stern warning and told to go back to sleep while he played with my private bits. Then he left the bedroom and I just froze then I heard him coming back. He came in the room and I know 100% I heard a camera click, he then covered my privates, straightened my quilt and left the bedroom. That did not stop.
Also there was two cattle grids on the track up to the home and at nights I used to hear cars coming up the drive. It was very late and I never heard them leave. I was taken to Bryn Alyn every day to school, so I got to see the girl that came with me in the car. We became quite close as friends. She went through hell there at the hands of the owner and manager.
My friend was a prolific self-harmer. She was very destroyed inside, she ended up committing suicide. The owner of Bryn Alyn took great pleasure in telling me she was dead. We use to talk a lot at the tree in Bryn Alyn, on the field. The one with the swing. I never went home to see my parents. In fact I didn’t say one word to my dad till I was nineteen, we never spoke at all. Its still not great between me and my parents. They don’t know properly what I went through. I have put a few things in this but, there is trips to France, trips to Norfolk Broads on canal boats and camping near Snowdonia.
They were not trips, it was further hell because we just couldn’t get away from abuse. I was there for three and half years. I was a little fucker when I was young, pinching cars mostly I was good at it and it always helped when I had to run away. I was always in and out the police station’s for pinching something. I was never violent, I never assaulted people, never sold drugs. Just a petty criminal.The truth behind all the trouble is, or happened the first time they put me in the cells. I had the best night’s sleep because I felt safe.
I personally think I was institutionalised from very early on in children’s home and I carried it on through my adult life. I have done 18 years behind a prison door mostly single cell. Because of my past in care, prison was the only thing that resembles a human safe. I used it for that in all my criminal years I have never once pleaded not guilty and please believe when I say I was clever enough to beat seventy five per cent of it if I wanted.
The ‘joy riding’ was an escape for me. A feeling like I was still alive because a lot of me was dead inside. I can’t explain it really but I’ve had a lot of struggles with drugs and was an addict for two years. I nearly lost my children to the authorities which was the light switch I badly needed in my life. My partner and I pulled our socks up and went on a three year long battle to beat the drugs. Boy did we beat them it was tough really tough but we did it.
I then got myself off methadone and felt very proud of walking into the drug services and saying I don’t need their help anymore. It felt good during this time. I had two interviews with operation Pallial and after my second one I had to be a dad. Almost instantly after leaving the police station I had the pleasure that most normal dads take for granted-the pleasure of putting my kids to bed. I swigged at the glass of the well deserved drink I’d poured, sat on my garden chair. Then the realisation of what I had just offloaded hit me. My memories all came flooding back to me like a rolodex, I was having a hyper mania breakdown this lasted about four days.
I ended up leaving my house I don’t know why but I was heading for the police station my partner phoned me and asked me to stop and speak to a lady who was a support worker for a family centre. I spoke to her and asked her personally to come and get me. Our social workers manager would not let her. Instead she came with a brand new social worker. I was taken to my drugs worker. I was tested straight away, I was clean. But it’s what was coming out of my mouth that was bothering them. I was taken to the hospital to see the mental crisis team. I was not allowed back home for two days. I was given tablets but after I read the side effects and seen they was a blocker and suppressant contained, I gave them back. I told him I have suppressed and blocked enough, I had to see shrinks every day for ten days.
After two days away from my family I was allowed back home. Upon walking back in my house my son was poorly but he always give me a cuddle even when he is sick. He did not move off the couch. I got straight on the phone and phoned the doctor. He was whisked off to hospital. My son was really sick he had Pneumococcal Meningitis. This brought me down to earth with a bang. My daughter had just beaten Scarlet fever. So I had my hyper mania, my son and just to add a bit more, my partner found out she was pregnant. Tough times, certainly a part of life I won’t forget.
That was nearly two years ago. I have been on therapy about three years. In fact I’m writing this on the train now on my way to a session. I have had three weeks off so I’m quite a bit anxious. I’m starting a couple of things with therapy in the New Year. I’m quite nervous about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) but its moving forward and I feel that is what I and all survivors should do if we choose to.
My memories of children’s homes I was in are very clear. I have clear images and memories that stay with me. I remember every person who abused me. Either there proper name or title. Every child I was in Pentre Saeson with, their first and second names and roughly where they are from. I know I haven’t mentioned names. I do know them all. Its tough this situation we are all facing but we know the damage abuse causes. Trust is a major problem. I am a different person today. I have not been in trouble for five years and I am clean from drugs. I have the most loving family. My partner and I have four kids and a dog. When I was a child many girls dream of their weddings, boys want to be super heroes and drive fast cars, well my dreams weren’t that elaborate.
I have what I dreamed of and that is why I am at the stage of my life now to go and fight these evil monsters, search for justice and protection of children. Because when are people going to realise that children should be children not a commodity and the care system should be what it means care. Because we did not get any care, we got used by everyone for their own selfish gains. The Historical Child Sex Abuse inquiry is being treated as a joke with attempts of cover up. That is why I will gladly speak to peoples tribunal as I feel that is the way forward. I am a very humble man who has been through bad times but I will not stop supporting survivors because we all lived in fear but no more. They have ruined all our childhoods, let’s not let them ruin anymore. FULL STOP.
Written by @dharries056 (feel free to follow)

Prolific child abuser John Allen ‘shared victims’ with paedophile friend linked to Tony Blair minister

Published December 1, 2014 by misty534

John Allen, 73, and Michael John Carroll, 66, were friends when they were abusing youngsters North Wales and London respectively in the 1980s

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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.”

Andy Stenning / Daily MirrorMichael Carroll
Convicted paedophile Michael Carroll

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.

John Allen, 73, sentenced today for sexually abusing 19 children in his care.

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.

Daily Mirror

‘We weren’t believed, so why report it?’ Victim of paedophile care home boss tells of abuse

Published November 27, 2014 by misty534


A 73-year-old hotelier and care home boss who was convicted yesterday of 26 child sex abuse charges has been found guilty of a further eight at Mold Crown Court today.

One of John Allen’s victims, Stephen Fong, told ITV News how he was regularly beaten and groomed by Allen, who he viewed as a father figure.

Fong said that he and the other children who suffered at the hands of Allen were not believed, so it was easier to take the abuse.

John Allen was a very, very clever man.

I looked at him as a father figure but at the same time I also hated the man because of what he did to me.

…We weren’t believed so why go on and report it?


Stephen Fong pictured speaking to ITV News
Stephen Fong pictured speaking to ITV News Credit: ITV News

Allen set up a string of profitable care homes for children known as the Bryn Alyn Community in 1968.

There he created “a sexualised atmosphere alongside a culture of fear,” prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC told the court.

One of 11 Bryn Alyn homes owned by John Allen
One of 11 Bryn Alyn homes owned by John Allen Credit: ITV News

One of his victims said that Allen ruled the homes with “an iron fist” as both staff and residents were “scared stiff of him”.

In total, Allen has been convicted of 33 offences – including four serious sex assaults – against 18 boys and one girl, aged between seven and 15, at various residential properties in the Wrexham area.

John Allen, 73, was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court
John Allen, 73, was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court Credit: ITV News

He was cleared of two counts of indecent assault.

In 1996 Allen was convicted of indecently assaulting six boys, aged between 12 and 16, at his care homes in the 1970s.

He will be sentenced on Monday.