North Wales Police apologise to victims of paedophile ex-superintendent Gordon Anglesea
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki said he was “saddened” by the abuse, but promised that times had changed
the 79-year-old was found guilty of indecent assault against two boys,
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki of North Wales Police said
people “expect and deserve better from the police”, but promised that
times had changed.
Child protection charity NSPCC blasted
Anglesea, of Gwynant, Old Colwyn, who now faces jail, saying “no child
should ever have to endure what these victims were forced to”.
Hislop, editor of satirical magazine Private Eye, which was sued for
libel by Anglesea in the 1990s, said he took “a certain grim
satisfaction” from the verdict, while the Crown Prosecution Service
praised the courage of the victims for coming forward to testify about
their horrific ordeals.
Assistant Chief Constable Debicki said:
“At the outset of Operation Pallial, we said that all abusers of
children should keep looking over their shoulder, and I am satisfied
that today time has caught up with Gordon Anglesea.
“It is true to say that no occupation is immune from
individuals who will exploit their position of authority and trust to
abuse vulnerable victims, but people expect and deserve better from the
“I am saddened that a former NWP officer was one of these
individuals and I would like to apologise on behalf of the force to
those whose lives he so traumatically affected.
“Nothing anyone can do now will change the past, but I can
assure people that the way in which we now investigate sexual abuse, the
investment which goes into it, and the significance it is given, is
considerably different to how it was in the past.”
said North Wales Police’s Amethyst team was trained to national
standards to investigate victims of sex crimes, who he said would be
“The checks that we make on employees are also far more rigid than they used to be,” he said.
“That said, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need for vigilance – that will always remain.”
National Crime Agency (NCA), which is running Operation Pallial into
historical sex abuse in North Wales, was also thanked for its hard work
by the NWP chief.
“All new crimes reported in North Wales will now be investigated by local officers and staff,” he added.
McComb, NCA deputy director for specialist investigations, said:
“Gordon Anglesea held a position of trust and was someone who both
children and adults should have been able to look to for protection and
support if they felt vulnerable.
“He sought out opportunities to abuse children and has been
brought to justice today because victims have had the confidence to come
forward to the NCA.”
Ed Beltrami, chief crown prosecutor for the
Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said: “I would like to thank the
victims, survivors and witnesses who had the courage to come forward and
provide important evidence in this case.
“Anglesea’s conviction today is a direct result of the prosecution being able to call on first-hand accounts of what happened.”
NSPCC Cymru spokesman said: “No child should ever have to endure what
these victims were forced to, and Anglesea’s crimes would have had
crushing, life-long effects on them.
“It was Anglesea’s job to
protect and safeguard people in society, but instead he shamelessly
abused and degraded vulnerable children.
“His victims were robbed
of their childhoods and showed tremendous bravery in recounting these
horrific and unforgiveable crimes in court.”
Mr Hislop said: “During the libel trial, Anglesea said that he had never assaulted any teenage boys.
now know that this was a lie, that he was indeed a paedophile, that in
truth he had no reputation to defend, and that he should never have sued
anyone on this basis.
“I take a certain grim satisfaction in this verdict today and in the fact that justice has eventually been done.
“But it is a miserable story and it was one of the darkest periods of my editorship.
can’t help thinking of the witnesses who came forward to assist our
case at the time, one of whom later committed suicide telling his wife
that he never got over ‘not being believed’.
“Private Eye will not be looking to get our money back from the libel damages. Others have paid a far higher price.”
Nelson wrote a story for the Independent on Sunday in 1991 suggesting
Anglesea was a paedophile, but it led to a massive payout for the former
Writing today on Twitter, Mr Nelson said: “25 years ago
Gordon Anglesea won £375k damages for my story implying he was a
paedophile. Finally he’s going to jail.”
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